Cardiome antibiotic could reduce pressure on NHS

A new intravenous antibiotic that could help reduce pressure on hospitals is now available in the UK.

Distributed by Canada-based Cardiome, Xydalba (dalbavancin) has been approved by the European Medicines Agency for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) in adults.

Instead of a 14-day course of intravenous (IV) antibiotics in hospital, Xydalba can be administered as a single 30-minute infusion, or in two doses.

Xydalba allows for patients to be treated and immediately discharged so they can recover at home, reducing costs and providing a treatment option that is more convenient for patients.

IV antibiotics treatment for ABSSSI can be administered in the hospital, through outpatient departments, or OPAT (Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy) centres.

There are many health and social issues, such as a challenging home environment, inadequate transport or a lack of available support from family or caregivers which can exclude patients from OPAT services. This results in admission and a period of time in hospital.

ABSSSI can be potentially life-threatening, including conditions such as cellulitis/erysipelas, wound infections and major skin abscesses.

There are more than 290,000 estimated cases of serious skin infections in the UK, with 79% receiving IV antibiotics as a first line treatment, with cellulitis accounting for 8% of emergency hospital admissions.

Clinical trials of Xydalba showed it was as effective and as well tolerated as other IV antibiotics, and was also effective against MRSA.

Xydalba is also classified as a ‘narrow spectrum’ antibiotic. Government guidelines recommend the use of narrow spectrum antibiotics, where appropriate, to help prevent antibiotic resistance.

Professor David Livermore of the Norwich Medical School (University of East Anglia) said: “One- or two-dose regimens of dalbavancin have the potential to get ABSSSI patients home early and to remodel how we think of OPAT.”

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