Continuation of a randomized, double-blind, multicenter study of linezolid versus vancomycin in the treatment of patients with nosocomial pneumonia

Richard G. Wunderink*, Sue K. Cammarata, Thomas H. Oliphant, Marin H. Kollef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


Background: The clinical efficacy and tolerability of linezolid were demonstrated in a previously published, randomized, double-blind, registration study comparing linezolid with vancomycin for the empiric treatment of 396 patients with nosocomial pneumonia. Objectives: The aims of this study were to obtain additional experience with linezolid and vancomycin in patients with nosocomial pneumonia and to satisfy international regulatory requirements. Methods: Patients with pneumonia acquired after 48 hours in an inpatient facility were randomly assigned to receive either IV linezolid 600 mg or IV vancomycin 1 g every 12 hours for 7 to 21 consecutive days. Patients also received IV aztreonam 1 to 2 g every 8 hours, which could be discontinued if gram-negative pathogens were not identified. The primary efficacy variables were clinical and microbiologic outcomes in evaluable patients at the follow-up visit 15 to 21 days after the end of therapy. Results from the continuation study were analyzed separately and did not include patients from the previously reported study. Results: A total of 623 patients were enrolled: 321 in the linezolid group and 302 in the vancomycin group. Mean (SD) ages were 63.1 (19.1) years and 61.9 (19.3) years, respectively. Mean (SD) Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores were 14.1 (5.8) and 14.1 (6.2), respectively. There were no significant differences between the linezolid and vancomycin groups at the follow-up visit in clinical cure rates (114/168 [67.9%] and 111/171 [64.9%]) or microbiologic success rates (47/76 [61.8%] and 42/79 [53.2%]) in evaluable patients (excluding those who had indeterminate or missing outcomes). There were also no significant differences in the rates of all drug-related adverse events (14.0% and 14.0%) or those that occurred in >1% of patients, including diarrhea (3.7% and 3.0%), nausea (0.3% and 1.3%), and rash (0.6% and 1.7%) in the linezolid and vancomycin groups, respectively. Conclusion: In the population studied, linezolid appeared to be as well tolerated and as effective as vancomycin, each in combination with aztreonam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-992
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Empiric therapy
  • Linezolid
  • Nosocomial pneumonia
  • Vancomycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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