Updated antibiotic effective at treating pneumonia, skin infections

Researchers found that an updated version of an old antibiotic is effective against pneumonia and serious skin infections, HealthDay reports.

In two trials, researchers found the drug, omadacycline, worked as well as standard antibiotics in treating patients with community-acquired pneumonia or skin infections.

The FDA approved omadacycline in October when it reviewed the trial findings. The results are published in the Feb. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The drug was designed to thwart the two major mechanisms bacteria use to evade antibiotics.

In both new trials, the researchers found omadacycline was as effective as the standard antibiotics for the conditions.

That means the drug "worked pretty well," said Henry Chambers, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.

But Dr. Chambers, who wrote an editorial accompanying the studies, questioned how valuable these findings will be since physicians already have "pretty good options" for the infections treated in the trials.

The biggest challenge for physicians is fighting cases of pneumonia and other serious infections that are resistant to multiple existing antibiotics, Dr. Chambers said.

"That's where the real medical need is," he said.

More articles on clinical leadership & infection control:
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Value-based incentive programs don't curb infection rates, study finds

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