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The US FDA has approved a new drug “lefamulin” as treatment for adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. It will be available as oral and intravenous (IV) formulations both.
The drug is a semisynthetic pleuromutilin that inhibits prokaryotic ribosomal protein synthesis through a unique mechanism that reduces its likelihood of developing resistance to bacteria or cross-resistance with the β-lactam, fluoroquinolone, glycopeptide, macrolide, and tetracycline antibiotic classes.
Side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, reactions at the injection site, elevated liver enzymes and vomiting
- Hypersensitivity to lefamulin or any other members of the pleuromutilin antibiotic class, or any of the components of lefamulin
- Patients with prolonged QT interval, patients with arrhythmias, patients on antiarrhythmic drugs and patients receiving other drugs that prolong the QT interval
Women who could become pregnant should be advised to use effective contraception during lefamulin treatment and for two days after the final dose.
(Source: FDA, JAMA Oct. 1, 2019)
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA