Abstract

Clinical trials have shown that linezolid (600 mg twice daily in adults) is safe and generally well tolerated for up to 28 days. Drug-related adverse events, which are typically mild to moderate in intensity and of limited duration, include diarrhoea, nausea and headache in adults, and diarrhoea, loose stools and vomiting in children. Clostridium difficile -related complications with linezolid are uncommon. Linezolid is a weak, reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor: foods containing high concentrations of tyramine should be avoided, and linezolid should be used with caution in patients taking adrenergic or serotonergic agents or in those with uncontrolled hypertension. In the majority of patients, linezolid has minimal adverse effects on blood chemistry or haematology. There have been case reports of reversible thrombocytopenia, anaemia and neutropenia associated with linezolid therapy. In Phase III studies, 2.4% of patients treated with linezolid and 1.5% of patients treated with comparator drugs developed reversible thrombocytopenia ( P = 0.066), but there was no evidence of an increased risk of agranulocytosis, aplastic anaemia or other irreversible blood dyscrasias. Reduced platelet counts were associated with linezolid treatment for ≥2 weeks; complete blood counts should be monitored weekly in patients receiving linezolid for more than 14 days and treatment should be discontinued if there is evidence of myelosuppression.

*

Tel: +44-20-7928-9292, ext 3244; Fax: +44-20-7928-0730; E-mail: Gary.French@kcl.ac.uk