Gatifloxacin: A Review of its Use in the Management of Bacterial Infections

Perry, C.M.; Ormrod, D.; Hurst, M.; Onrust, S.V.
January 2002
Drugs;2002, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p169
Academic Journal
Gatifloxacin is an 8-methoxy fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent. The drug has a broader spectrum of antibacterial activity than the older fluoroquinolones (e.g. ciprofloxacin) and shows good activity against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, atypical organisms and some anaerobes. Notably, gatifloxacin is highly active against both penicillin-susceptible and -resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common causative pathogen in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), acute sinusitis and acute bacterial exacerbations of bronchitis. Gatifloxacin is absorbed well from the gastrointestinal tract (oral bioavailability is almost 100%). Therefore, patients can be switched from intravenous to oral therapy without an adjustment in dosage. High concentrations of gatifloxacin are achieved in plasma and target tissues/fluids. Gatifloxacin has a long plasma elimination half-life, thus allowing once-daily administration. Few clinically significant interactions between gatifloxacin and other drugs have been reported. In patients with CAP, clinical response rates in recipients of intravenous/oral gatifloxacin 400 mg/day ranged from 86.8 to 98.0% and rates of bacterial eradication ranged from 83.1 to 100% (up to 28 days post-treatment). Gatifloxacin showed efficacy similar to that of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ceftriaxone (with or without erythromycin) with or without stepdown to clarithromycin, levofloxacin or clarithromycin. Gatifloxacin was as effective as clarithromycin or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, and was significantly more effective (in terms of clinical response; p < 0.035) than 7 to 10 days' treatment with cefuroxime axetil in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. In acute sinusitis, gatifloxacin showed clinical efficacy similar to that of clarithromycin, trovafloxacin or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. Genitourinary infections were also successfully treated with gatifloxacin. Gatifloxacin is generally well tolerated. Its tolerability profile was broadly similar to those of comparator agents in comparative trials. The most common adverse events are gastrointestinal symptoms (oral formulation) and injection site reactions. Conclusions: Gatifloxacin has an extended spectrum of antibacterial activity and provides better coverage of Gram-positive organisms (e.g. S. pneumoniae) than some older fluoroquinolones. The drug has favourable pharmacokinetic properties, is administered once daily and is at least as well tolerated as other fluoroquinolones. Gatifloxacin is a useful addition to the fluoroquinolones currently available for use in the clinical setting and has an important role in the management of adult patients with various bacterial infections. As with other fluoroquinolones, careful control of gatifloxacin usage in the community is important in order to prevent the emergence of bacterial resistance and thus preserve the clinical value of this agent.


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