May 25, 2018

By Angela Kelly

Panel Discusses Treatment Options for Newly Diagnosed C. difficile

May 22, 2018 [MD Magazine] Fidaxomicin is a relatively new C. diff drug, approved for the treatment of Clostridium difficile in 2011. It is equally effective as the antibiotic vancomycin; however, it significantly reduces the rate of recurrent C. diff—“dropping the recurrence rate from around 25% down to around 15% or 14%.”Why is fidaxomicin not used for the treatment of all C. diff infections in patients who are hospitalized? Cost. Hospitals are not reimbursed for medications administered during hospitalization.

MD Magazine Panel Discussion

The patients who are selected to receive fidaxomicin are those who are determined, by an algorithm, to be at the highest risk of recurrence. The panel discussion closed with Dr. Darrell S. Pardi, a gastroenterologist on the faculty at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, stating, “It (fidaxomicin) is the best drug we currently have available for C. diff. If cost wasn’t an issue, it would be the first drug that we would use.”

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To regulate fecal transplants, FDA has to first answer a serious question: What is poop? 

May 18, 2018 [ScienceNews] Currently, there is a struggle to ensure that stool banks are regulated to safeguard recipients from receiving stool with disease-causing agents while at the same time providing timely treatment to those who are in desperate need of effective C. diff treatment. Now doctors are providing fecal microbiota transplants outside of clinical trials under “practice of medicine,” using the recipient’s family or friend as a donor, while the issue of whether poop is a drug or tissue rages on. 

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ICU Stays Increase Risk of Clostridium difficile Infection

May 18, 2018 [MD Magazine] A study from Cleveland Clinic Akron General reveals “the longer a trauma or surgery patient stays in the intensive care unit (ICU), the greater the risk for developing Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection.” Study author Richard Watkins, MD, MS, Division of Infectious Diseases, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, told MD Magazine, “Physicians need to be aware of this association and get their patients out of the ICU as soon as possible.”

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