Evaluation of Opportunities for Oral Antibiotic Therapy in Bone and Joint Infections

Hita Bhagat, Monica K. Sikka, Ellie S. Sukerman, Jina Makadia, James S. Lewis, Amber C. Streifel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The OVIVA trial suggests oral antibiotics are an alternative to intravenous antibiotics to treat bone and joint infections (BJI). A shift in practice to treatment with oral antibiotics would eliminate the need for central vascular access, improve patient satisfaction, and reduce overall healthcare costs. Objective: The primary objective was to identify the proportion of patients treated for BJIs with outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) who would have qualified for oral antibiotics based on microbiological data. The secondary objective was to conduct a cost-analysis to estimate potential cost-savings had eligible patients been treated with oral antibiotics. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective study of adult patients in the United States treated with intravenous antibiotics for BJIs from January 2018 to April 2020. Inclusion and exclusion criteria matched the OVIVA trial. Patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, endocarditis, or other high-risk features were excluded. Results: 281 patients met the inclusion criteria. Most had prosthetic joint infections (56%). Infections caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci (25%) were most common, followed by S. aureus (23%) and polymicrobial infections (22%). 69 (25%) patients required a switch during their OPAT course to an alternate antibiotic agent. Thirteen patients (5%) experienced vascular access complications, and 6 patients (2%) developed Clostridiodes difficile infections. Oral therapy could have resulted in an estimated average savings per patient of $3,270.69 USD. Conclusion and Relevance: Most patients treated with OPAT for BJIs were candidates for oral antibiotics. A change in practice would result in cost-savings to the U.S. healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • antibiotics
  • bone and joint
  • clinical pharmacy
  • cost
  • infectious diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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