Hematologic effects of linezolid in young children

H. Cody Meissner, Timothy Townsend, Wanda Wenman, Sheldon L. Kaplan, Maria Rayo Morfin, Barbara Edge-Padbury, Sharon Naberhuis-Stehouwer, Jon B. Bruss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background. Linezolid is an effective and well-tolerated antibiotic for the treatment of Gram-positive infections, including hospital and community-acquired pneumonia and complicated and uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections. In adults linezolid treatment for ≥2 weeks has been associated with reversible hematopoietic suppression, primarily thrombocytopenia. Objective. To evaluate the occurrence of hematologic effects in children with Gram-positive infections in an open label study of linezolid vs. vancomycin. Methods. Detailed analyses of hematologic data, including reported hematologic adverse events, complete blood counts, reticulocyte index (RI) and iron studies (serum iron and transferrin saturation), were conducted in both groups at baseline and during and after treatment with the use of an intent-to-treat analysis. Results. Three hundred sixteen patients (median age, 1.65 yr) randomized 2:1 to linezolid (n = 215) or vancomycin (n = 101) were treated. Total treatment durations were similar in the vancomycin group (12.2 ± 6.4 days; median, 11.0 days) and the linezolid group (11.3 ± 5. 0 days; median, 11.0 days) (P = 0.20). No significant differences were noted in drug-related hematologic events, such as thrombocytopenia (linezolid, 1.9% vs. vancomycin, 0%; P = 0.170), anemia (linezolid, 1.4% vs. vancomycin, 1.0%; P = 0.771) or neutropenia (linezolid, 0% vs. vancomycin, 0%). Hemoglobin values also were similar between treatment groups when assessed by shifts from baseline to lowest recorded value. Frequency of occurrence of any substantially abnormal value for hemoglobin (15.7% vs. 12.4%), platelets (12.9% vs. 13.4%) and neutrophils (5.9% vs. 4.3%) were similar in the linezolid and vancomycin groups. No clinically relevant changes in RI or iron studies were noted between treatment groups, and parallel increases in RI occurred with both linezolid and vancomycin. Conclusions. No significant differences in hematologic profiles between linezolid and vancomycin occurred in this pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S186-S192
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number9 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Hematologic effects
  • Linezolid
  • Tolerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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