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Xenleta (lefamulin), new antibiotic to treat community-acquired bacterial pneumonia

Xenleta (lefamulin), new antibiotic to treat community-acquired bacterial pneumonia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Xenleta (lefamulin) to treat adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.

“This new drug provides another option for the treatment of patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, a serious disease,” said Ed Cox, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Office of Antimicrobial Products. “For managing this serious disease, it is important for physicians and patients to have treatment options. This approval reinforces our ongoing commitment to address treatment of infectious diseases by facilitating the development of new antibiotics.”

Community-acquired pneumonia occurs when someone develops pneumonia in the community (not in a hospital). Pneumonia is a type of lung infection that can range in severity from mild to severe illness and can affect people of all ages. According to data from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, about one million people are hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia and 50,000 people die from the disease.

The most common adverse reactions reported in patients taking Xenleta included diarrhea, nausea, reactions at the injection site, elevated liver enzymes and vomiting. Xenleta has the potential to cause a change on an ECG reading (prolonged QT interval). Patients with prolonged QT interval, patients with certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), patients receiving treatment for certain irregular heart rhythms (antiarrhythmic agents), and patients receiving other drugs that prolong the QT interval should avoid Xenleta. In addition, Xenleta should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to lefamulin or any other members of the pleuromutilin antibiotic class, or any of the components of Xenleta. Based on findings of fetal harm in animal studies, pregnant women and women who could become pregnant should be advised of the potential risks of Xenleta to a fetus. Women who could become pregnant should be advised to use effective contraception during treatment with Xenleta and for two days after the final dose.

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