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FDA approves lefamulin for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia treatment


The Food and Drug Administration has announced its approval of lefamulin (Xenleta) for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia in adults.

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Approval was based on results of two clinical trials assessing a total of 1,289 people with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. In these trials, lefamulin was compared with moxifloxacin with and without linezolid. Patients who received lefamulin had similar rates of treatment success as those taking moxifloxacin alone or moxifloxacin plus linezolid.

The most common adverse reactions associated with lefamulin include diarrhea, nausea, reactions at the injection site, elevated liver enzymes, and vomiting. Patients with prolonged QT interval, patients with arrhythmias, patients receiving treatment with antiarrhythmic agents, and patients receiving other drugs that prolong the QT interval are contraindicated. In addition, because of evidence of fetal harm in animal studies, pregnant women should be advised of potential risks before receiving lefamulin.

“This new drug provides another option for the treatment of patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, a serious disease. For managing this serious disease, it is important for physicians and patients to have treatment options,” Ed Cox, MD, MPH, director of the FDA’s Office of Antimicrobial Products, said in the press release.

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