Parenteral Vancomycin in the Treatment of MRSA-Associated Diabetic Foot Infections: An Unnecessary Risk

Warren S. Joseph, Mark A. Kosinski, Lee C. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are a common and costly complication of diabetes. Soft tissue and bone infections in DFIs frequently lead to amputation and/or sepsis which can be costly for both the patient and the healthcare system. Staphylococcus aureus is the most commonly identified causative agent in DFIs, and people with diabetes may have an increased risk of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In addition to increased susceptibility to severe infection, MRSA in DFIs is associated with high rates of treatment failure, morbidity, and hospitalization costs meaning appropriate treatment is a high priority. While hospitalized patients are usually treated with intravenous (IV) vancomycin, this can be costly in terms of inpatient stays, staffing costs, and adverse events. For example, vancomycin-associated acute kidney injury not only delays hospital discharge and increases costs but is also a particular concern for patients with diabetes who already have an increased risk of kidney problems. Vancomycin-resistant strains of S. aureus have also been identified, which means that alternative treatment options may need to be explored. Treatment alternatives to IV vancomycin, including oral antibiotics, have been shown to provide similar efficacy, with reduced costs, outpatient or home-based administration, and with fewer serious adverse effects. Although infectious disease specialists often use IV vancomycin alone, or in combination, as a first-line therapeutic option, they are increasingly seeing the value of outpatient or at-home oral antibiotics as an alternative. This manuscript reviews the evidence for true costs of vancomycin therapy for MRSA-associated DFIs and examines the alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • MRSA
  • diabetic foot infection
  • oral antibiotics
  • vancomycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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