New antibiotic approved by FDA will fight bacterial infections in hospitals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given it's approval for a new antibiotic to fight bacterial infections.

According to drug company Wyeth Laboratories, Tygacil is designed specifically to prevent infection in adults while they are confined for an extended time in hospital.

Many patients have a prolonged hospital stay due to serious infections such as infected ulcers, acute appendicitis and infected burns which can not only complicate a condition but can also be linked to increased rates of morbidity and mortality.

The new drug is a welcome addition to the treatment of infections as the numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to rise while treatment options have declined.

The drug was approved by the FDA over a six-month period using its "Priority Review" process.

Tygacil which is administered intravenously, and is targeted at a number of infections, including those caused by E. coli bacteria. The antibiotic was given the government's go-ahead for use in treating ulcers, burns and abscesses.

Because bacteria found in hospitals have become so strong, Wyeth says they are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics in present use. The company says the new drug will allow doctors to get the infections under control faster.

It should also have an economic effect as people infected with drug-resistant organisms tend to have longer hospital stays and require treatment with multiple antibiotics.

According to the company, the main benefit will be the improvment in health.

When initial therapy for the treatment of bacterial infections is inappropriate, it has been shown to have a direct link to increased morbidity and mortality.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infections contracted in hospitals alone afflict approximately two million patients every year, killing 90,000 and about 70 percent of hospital-acquired infections are resistant to at least one drug. Antibiotic resistance costs U.S. society between $4 billion and $5 billion annually.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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