, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 769–774

Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy for the treatment of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus: a comparison of cefazolin and ceftriaxone

Clinical and Epidemiological Study

DOI: 10.1007/s15010-013-0477-0

Cite this article as:
Winans, S.A., Luce, A.M. & Hasbun, R. Infection (2013) 41: 769. doi:10.1007/s15010-013-0477-0



Although the antistaphylococcal penicillins remain the drugs of choice for methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections, cefazolin and ceftriaxone are often prescribed due to their less frequent dosing and reduced cost. The purpose of this study was to compare clinical outcomes and adverse events in patients receiving outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) with ceftriaxone or cefazolin for the treatment of MSSA infections.


A retrospective study was carried out of 122 patients evaluated at Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospitals in Houston, Texas, between January 1, 2006, and March 31, 2012, with a documented MSSA infection who received cefazolin or ceftriaxone as OPAT. A favorable clinical outcome was determined by their primary care physician’s assessment at follow-up in the clinic.


Out of 122 patients, 78 (64 %) were treated with cefazolin and 44 (36 %) with ceftriaxone. Patients were predominantly young (median age 46 years), male (54.2 %), and Hispanic (51.2 %). Patients were similar in terms of baseline demographics, types of infections, and management of infections. Favorable clinical outcomes were similar between cefazolin and ceftriaxone (67.9 versus 79.8 %, p = 0.17), along with a similar incidence of adverse events and complications (5.1 versus 2.3 %, p = 0.65, and 26.9 versus 18.2 %, p = 0.38, respectively).


OPAT with either cefazolin or ceftriaxone is similar in terms of favorable outcomes, adverse events, and complications when treating MSSA infections. A randomized clinical trial is needed in order to confirm these results.


Staphylococcus aureusCeftriaxoneOPATCefazolinMethicillin-susceptible

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacyHarris County Hospital DistrictHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy PracticeTexas A&M Health Science Center Rangel College of PharmacyHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious DiseasesUniversity of Texas Health Sciences CenterHoustonUSA