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Cephalexin Failure Rate Similar for Morbidly Obese, Non-Obese

No difference in rate of therapeutic failure for morbidly obese, non-obese patients with cellulitis

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TUESDAY, May 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients receiving cephalexin monotherapy for non-purulent cellulitis, the rate of therapeutic failure does not differ for morbidly obese and non-obese, according to a study published online May 19 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Kimberly R. Kaufman, Pharm.D., from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, and colleagues conducted a single-center, retrospective cohort analysis involving adult patients hospitalized or under inpatient observation who received cephalexin monotherapy for non-purulent cellulitis. Patients were stratified according to body mass index (BMI), where BMI <30 kg/m² was defined as non-obese and BMI ≥40 kg/m² was defined as morbidly obese. Ninety-four patients were included, of whom 69 were non-obese and 25 were morbidly obese.

The researchers found that the rate of therapeutic failure was 20 percent in the morbidly obese group and 14.5 percent in the non-obese group (P = 0.53). In response to therapeutic failure with cephalexin, patients most commonly had extended or additional antibiotics prescribed.

"Cephalexin failure rates for cellulitis did not differ statistically between morbidly obese and non-obese patients," the authors write. "Until further study with a larger sample size is completed, empiric adjustment of cephalexin dosing based solely on BMI may not be necessary."

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