A double-blind trial was conducted in 385 patients with suspected bacterial intra-abdominal infections to compare the efficacy and safety of ampicillin-sulbactam with cefoxitin. Patients were randomized to receive either 3 g ampicillin-sulbactam (2 g ampicillin-1 g sulbactam), or 2 g cefoxitin, every 6 hours. To be evaluable, patients had to demonstrate positive culture evidence of peritoneal infection at the time of operation, A total of 197 patients were evaluable for clinical efficacy. The two treatment groups were comparable in demographic features and in the presence of risk factors for infection. Clinical success (absence of infection and of adverse drug reaction) was observed in 86% of patients in the ampicillin-sulbactam group and 78% in the cefoxitin group. Eradication of infection occurred in 88% of the ampicillin-sulbactam group and 79% of the cefoxitin group. There were no differences in the nature or frequency of side effects observed in the two groups. Ampicillin-sulbactam demonstrated no difference in safety or efficacy when compared with cefoxitin in the treatment of serious intra-abdominal infections of bacterial origin.
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