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Safety and tolerability of quinupristin/dalfopristin: administration guidelines.

Author(s): Rubinstein E, Prokocimer P, Talbot GH

Affiliation(s): Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Aviv University School of Medicine, Tel Hashomer, Israel. unit@netvision.net.il

Publication date & source: 1999-09, J Antimicrob Chemother., 44 Suppl A:37-46.

Publication type: Review

The safety and tolerability of quinupristin/dalfopristin were assessed in both comparative and non-comparative trials (2298 quinupristin/dalfopristin-treated patients). In comparative clinical trials, the most frequent systemic adverse events related to quinupristin/dalfopristin were nausea (4.6%), diarrhoea (2.7%), vomiting (2.7%) and skin rash (2.5%). The comparator group showed similar rates, except that nausea was significantly more common (7.2%; P = 0.01). In non-comparative trials, arthralgia and myalgia were reported most frequently but were reversible upon treatment discontinuation. The renal, inner ear, cardiovascular and central nervous systems were not implicated as significant target organs for toxicity. The most frequent local adverse events related to infusion of quinupristin/dalfopristin were inflammation, pain, oedema, infusion site reaction and thrombophlebitis. Results of laboratory tests while on therapy were comparable for quinupristin/dalfopristin and comparator groups, except that increases in conjugated bilirubin of >5 x the upper limit of normal were reported in 5.5% of quinupristin/dalfopristin recipients; increases in total bilirubin of >5 x the upper limit of normal occurred in 1.5%. Comparator recipients more frequently had increases in alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase. Quinupristin/dalfopristin inhibits the cytochrome P450 3A4-mediated metabolism of drugs including midazolam, nifedipine, terfenadine and cyclosporin. Therefore, plasma drug monitoring and/or dosage reduction of these agents is prudent. Concomitant administration of drugs that can prolong the electrocardiographic QTc interval should be avoided. Quinupristin/dalfopristin is visually and chemically compatible with commonly used drugs of various classes, but it is not compatible with sodium chloride solution and certain other drugs, including some antimicrobials. Therefore, when prescribing quinupristin/dalfopristin, clinicians should be aware of the potential for peripheral venous intolerance, arthralgias and myalgias, increases in conjugated bilirubin, interactions with drugs metabolized by the cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme and certain physico-chemical incompatibilities. However, multiple studies have shown that the safety and tolerability of quinupristin/dalfopristin are generally favourable, and that it provides clear benefits to ill patients with severe gram-positive infections.

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