A single shot of the antibiotic oritavancin is as effective as a 7- to 10-day regimen of vancomycin at treating MRSA, with the added advantage that the shot eliminates concerns about patients' failing to finish their oral prescriptions, finds a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers compared the results from 475 patients, each of whom was given a 1,200mg shot of oritavancin, with 479 patients who were administered the standard treatment of vancomycin. The results were similar in terms of reducing lesion sizes, controlling fever and eliminating the need for rescue antibiotics, though the oritavancin group had a higher incidence of nausea.
The 3-year study was carried out by Duke University researchers and funded by the Medicines Company, which manufactures oritavancin. The drug, to be marketed as Orbactiv, may be approved by the FDA as early as August, says The New York Times.
"These patients could potentially just get an antibiotic and not be admitted to the hospital at all," Henry Chambers III, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, tells the Times. "The big question is, how much money do the drug companies want in order to be able to do that? It won't be chump change."