Background: As the number of elderly people has increased in Japan, the occurrence of aspiration pneumonia has also increased. Guidelines for the treatment of pneumonia have been proposed, in which the use of antibiotics, such as β-lactam plus β-lactamase inhibitor, clindamycin, and carbapenem, has been recommended as effective against anaerobic bacteria in the treatment of aspiration pneumonia. However, to our knowledge, a prospective comparison of these antibiotics regarding their clinical efficacy in aspiration pneumonia has not been performed.
Study objectives: We compared the effects of IV administration of a half dose of ampicillin/sulbactam (SBT/ABPC), normal dose of SBT/ABPC, IV clindamycin, and IV panipenem/betamiprom (PAPM/BP) for treatment of mild-to-moderate aspiration pneumonia in elderly patients.
Design: Randomized prospective study.
Patients: One hundred adult patients with compatible signs and symptoms of aspiration pneumonia.
Assessments: Patients were assessed before, during, and after treatment regarding symptoms, as well as results of laboratory values, chest radiograph examinations, and sputum bacterial cultures.
Results: We found few differences between the groups regarding cure rate, duration of IV medication, and occurrence of adverse effects with the tested therapies. However, clindamycin therapy was less expensive and was associated with a lower rate of posttreatment occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Conclusions: Clindamycin therapy for mild-to-moderate aspiration pneumonia is clinically effective, and provides economic advantages as compared to SBT/ABPC or PAPM/BP therapy.