Telavancin: a new lipoglycopeptide for gram-positive infections.
Telavancin is a lipoglycopeptide derivative of vancomycin. Similar to vancomycin, it demonstrates activity in vitro against a variety of Gram-positive pathogens, including but not limited to methicillin-resistant Staphylococccus aureus (MRSA) and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP). Modifications to vancomycin's structure expanded telavancin's spectrum of activity in vitro to include organisms such as glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus (GISA), vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). However, the clinical implications of this are currently unknown. Similar to other glycopeptides, televancin binds to the D-alanyl-D-alanine (D-Ala-D-Ala) terminus in Gram-positive organisms, resulting in inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis. In addition, telavancin causes depolarization of the bacterial cell membrane and increased membrane permeability. The resulting activity in vitro is rapidly bactericidal and concentration dependent, with the ratio of area under the time concentration curve to minimum inhibitory concentration (AUC/MIC) as the best predictor of activity in animal models to date. In humans, telavancin exhibits a pharmacokinetic profile that permits once-daily intravenous administration. Doses of 7.5 and 10 mg/kg/day have been studied in clinical trials. The need for dosage adjustments based on age, gender and obesity appear unnecessary. In addition, moderate hepatic impairment does not appreciably alter the pharmacokinetics of the drug. Because telavancin is extensively cleared by the kidneys, dosage adjustments will be required in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment. Published phase II and III clinical trials have shown telavancin to be comparable to standard therapy for the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections. Clinical trials in the treatment of S. aureus bacteremia and hospital-acquired pneumonia are under way. Adverse effects overall appear to be mild and reversible, with taste disturbance, foamy urine, headache, procedural site pain, nausea and vomiting being the most commonly reported. However, renal toxicity was reported more frequently with telavancin than with vancomycin in two phase III clinical trials (3% versus 1%). Prolongation of the corrected QT (QTc) interval has been more common with telavancin than comparator agents, but no clinically significant electrocardiogram (ECG) changes or cardiac abnormalities have been observed to date. Although human pregnancy data is not currently available, animal data revealed limb malformations that were possibly related to telavancin therapy. Therefore, the potential teratogenicity of this agent must be considered in women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
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