Cefoxitin has been the prophylactic antibiotic of choice for appendectomy and colorectal surgery at this institution. Recent information suggests that cefazolin and metronidazole given as a single intravenous preparation could be a cost-effective alternative to cefoxitin or cefotetan for surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis of uncomplicated appendectomies. This study was conducted to determine the efficacy, toxicity, and cost of the current antibiotic regimens used for prophylaxis of uncomplicated appendectomies, to evaluate the efficacy, toxicity and cost of the cefazolin plus metronidazole combination in uncomplicated appendectomies, and to facilitate a cooperative working relationship between the Departments of Pharmacy and General Surgery. Although the numbers involved were small, this study suggests that the cefazolin/metronidazole combination is cost-effective. It is suggested that research is warranted in evaluating combinations such as this as cost-effective alternatives to current therapy.
An increasing amount of evidence supports antibiotic therapy for treating uncomplicated acute appendicitis. The objective of this study was to compare the costs of antibiotics alone versus appendicectomy in treating uncomplicated acute appendicitis within the randomized controlled APPAC (APPendicitis ACuta) trial.
The APPAC multicentre, non-inferiority RCT was conducted on patients with CT-confirmed uncomplicated acute appendicitis. Patients were assigned randomly to appendicectomy or antibiotic treatment. All costs were recorded, whether generated by the initial visit and subsequent treatment or possible recurrent appendicitis during the 1-year follow-up. The cost estimates were based on cost levels for the year 2012.
Some 273 patients were assigned to the appendicectomy group and 257 to antibiotic treatment. Most patients randomized to antibiotic treatment did not require appendicectomy during the 1-year follow-up. In the operative group, overall societal costs (€5989·2, 95 per cent c.i. 5787·3 to 6191·1) were 1·6 times higher (€2244·8, 1940·5 to 2549·1) than those in the antibiotic group (€3744·4, 3514·6 to 3974·2). In both groups, productivity losses represented a slightly higher proportion of overall societal costs than all treatment costs together, with diagnostics and medicines having a minor role. Those in the operative group were prescribed significantly more sick leave than those in the antibiotic group (mean(s.d.) 17·0(8·3) (95 per cent c.i. 16·0 to 18·0) versus 9·2(6·9) (8·3 to 10·0) days respectively; P
The effects on patient outcome and drug therapy costs of a therapeutic interchange program using a cefazolin and metronidazole combination in place of cefoxitin were studied. A therapeutic interchange program was initiated in which the pharmacy department automatically replaced orders for cefoxitin with orders for a cefazolin and metronidazole combination. Data were compared for 100 consecutive patients who received cefoxitin before initiation of the program and the first 100 patients who received cefazolin and metronidazole as part of the program. The impact of the program on therapeutic efficacy, adverse effects associated with therapy, and drug therapy costs was assessed. The two patient groups were similar in age, gender, and white blood cell count. The failure rates for treatment or prophylaxis of infection did not significantly differ between the groups. Duration of therapy and incidence of adverse effects did not significantly differ between the groups. The average cost saving was +72 per patient for treatment with cefazolin and metronidazole instead of cefoxitin. A program for therapeutic interchange of cefazolin and metronidazole in place of cefoxitin demonstrated equivalent efficacy and adverse effects, as well as considerable cost savings.