Fidaxomicin Compared With Oral Vancomycin for the Treatment of Severe Clostridium difficile–Associated Diarrhea: A Retrospective Review

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Hospital Pharmacy


Purpose: The most recent published guidelines on Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD) developed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) were released in 2017 and outline its treatment based on severity of the disease and recurrence; however, a clear first-line agent has not been recommended specifically for severe CDAD. Methods: This retrospective chart review was approved by the institutional review board and consisted of three community hospitals and one academic medical center. To be included, patients need to meet criteria for severe CDAD and receive at least 72 hours of therapy. Patients received either oral vancomycin or fidaxomicin, in addition to other therapies for CDAD, and differences in outcomes such as cost obtained from a common charge center, rates of recurrence, time to recurrence as measured at time of positive to negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and mortality were assessed. Results: Of the 147 patients, 74 patients received fidaxomicin and 73 patients received oral vancomycin. The average hospitalization cost for patients receiving fidaxomicin was $129,338.69 and for patients receiving vancomycin was $153,563.81 (P =.26). Recurrence rates were lower with fidaxomicin compared with vancomycin (6.8% vs 17.6%; P =.047), and time to recurrence was longer with fidaxomicin versus vancomycin, but not statistically significant (96.8 ± 45.9 days vs 63.2 ± 66.9 days; P =.321). Mortality, length of stay in the intensive care unit, and overall length of stay were similar between the two therapies. Conclusions: In the treatment of severe CDAD, recurrence rates were lower and time to recurrence was higher with fidaxomicin compared with oral vancomycin. A clear financial benefit has yet to translate from these known findings.


ePub ahead of print