BACKGROUND. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a major cause of death and morbidity worldwide. Treatment is centred on
antibiotics with ceftriaxone and amoxicillin-clavulanate being some of the most commonly prescribed agents.
Objective. To compare treatment outcomes and costs in patients receiving either of these two antibiotics at Witbank Hospital (WH).
METHODS. A total of 200 randomly selected adult patient files (100 receiving ceftriaxone and 100 amoxicillin-clavulanate) recording a
diagnosis of CAP were studied to determine the length of hospital stay, comorbid conditions and treatment outcomes. A descriptive and
comparable analysis was performed.
RESULTS. Male gender, higher CURB-65 scores and death were associated with the use of ceftriaxone. Severity of disease and previous
antibiotic exposure influenced the duration of hospital admission.
CONCLUSION. Gender and severity of disease (based on the CURB-65 score) were the determinants of antibiotic choice at WH. Male gender
increased the likelihood of being treated with ceftriaxone, as did a CURB-65 score of >2. There were no differences in the outcomes of
CAP patients treated with ceftriaxone compared with those treated with amoxicillin-clavulanate. Irrespective of antibiotic used, gender and
severity of disease influenced treatment outcomes. Male gender was associated with a higher mortality and longer hospital stay. The average
duration of stay for both antibiotics was not significantly different. Thus, only level 1 and 2 costs need to be considered when comparing
the two regimens. On this basis, ceftriaxone was cheaper than amoxicillin-clavulanate.