Cefpodoxime proxetil. An appraisal of its use in antibacterial cost-containment programmes, as stepdown and abbreviated therapy in respiratory tract infections.Pharmacoeconomics. 1996 Aug; 10(2):164-78.P
Cefpodoxime proxetil is an orally administered prodrug which is converted in vivo to the third generation cephalosporin cefpodoxime. Cefpodoxime has a similar spectrum of antibacterial activity to the parenteral cephalosporins ceftriaxone and cefotaxime and a long elimination half-life, which allows once- or twice-daily administration. Cefpodoxime proxetil has proven efficacy in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia and upper respiratory tract, skin and soft tissue and urinary tract infections. It has been evaluated for use in cost-containment programmes, as stepdown (parenteral-to-oral conversion) therapy in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia and as abbreviated therapy in upper respiratory tract infections. Substituting oral for parenteral therapy can achieve considerable savings (in acquisition, delivery and labour costs). Moreover, oral administration has advantages for the patient in terms of comfort and mobility, avoids the hazards of parenteral delivery and may allow earlier discharge from hospital, or even allow home treatment from the outset in low-risk patients. As hospitalisation is usually the major cost component in treating serious infections, considerable savings can be made in this way. Pharmacy-driven stepdown programmes in 2 US hospitals have achieved cost savings by targeting patients with community-acquired pneumonia for early conversion from intravenous ceftriaxone therapy to oral cefpodoxime proxetil. Costs were compared with those from a control group of patients who continued to receive intravenous ceftriaxone until physicians deemed that oral therapy (with various agents) was appropriate. In one study, duration of parenteral therapy in the cefpodoxime proxetil group was reduced from 6.18 to 3.82 days and duration of hospitalisation was reduced from 10.06 to 6.23 days (p < 0.02), with corresponding hospitalisation cost reductions of $US7300 per patient. However, clinical trial data relating to the efficacy of cefpodoxime proxetil as stepdown therapy in patients initially requiring parenteral antibacterials are lacking. Abbreviated (4-to 7-day) cephalosporin regimens appear to be as effective as traditional 10-day penicillin regimens in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. Short regimens may improve patient compliance and tolerability, thereby reducing the costs of adverse effects and treatment failures. Data from preliminary clinical studies suggest that a 5-day course of cefpodoxime proxetil is as effective as an 8-day course of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid in treating either acute otitis media or sinusitis, and as effective as a 10-day course of amoxicillin/ clavulanic acid and more effective than a 10-day course of phenoxymethyl- penicillin in the treatment of pharyngotonsillitis. Cefpodoxime proxetil tended to be better tolerated and was associated with better compliance than penicillin-based regimens. Indeed, a pharmacoeconomic study showed that a 10-day regimen of cefpodoxime proxetil was associated with lower costs for treating adverse effects and treatment failures than a 10-day regimen of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid in the treatment of acute otitis media in children. A 5-day course of cefpodoxime proxetil had a lower cost per patient treated per month free of recurrence than a 10-day course of phenoxymethylpenicillin (non-generic) or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid in the treatment of recurrent pharyngotonsillitis. Thus, evidence to date suggests that cefpodoxime proxetil has potential for use as stepdown therapy in community-acquired pneumonia and in abbreviated therapy courses in upper respiratory tract infections. These preliminary observations require confirmation in well designed studies.