See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

New Weapon for Diabetic Foot Infections

Antibiotic works against common problem among those with blood sugar disease

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The new antibiotic linezolid (Zyvox) is at least as effective as some older therapies for treating diabetic foot infections, says new research.

The findings from the study, which included 371 people at 45 centers in eight countries, suggest the new drug may provide an alternative for treating diabetics with antibiotic-resistant foot infections.

Foot infections are one of the most serious diabetes-related complications and a leading cause of hospitalization for people with diabetes. Lower limb amputation may be necessary in cases where treatment fails to cure the infection.

"The complication of diabetes that patients fear most is leg amputation, and infection is often the final pathway that leads to this tragic, if often preventable, outcome," study author Benjamin A. Lipsky, director of the General Internal Medicine and Antibiotic Research clinics at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, says in a prepared statement.

Linezolid was approved in 2000 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a variety of infections.

In this study, published in the Jan. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, linezolid produced a clinical cure for 81 percent of patients, compared with 71 percent for patients taking a current standard combination therapy.

The study was funded by VA and Pharmacia, now part of Pfizer Inc., the maker of linezolid. Lipsky has served as a consultant and speaker for Pharmacia and Pfizer.

More information

Here's where people with diabetes can learn more about how to take care of their feet and skin.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, news release, January 2004
Consumer News