Q05. What important factors should be considered when choosing antibiotics for neutropenia?
Summary: First, the antimicrobial must be active against the likely pathogens. Second, the physician must consider individual host factors in order to localize infection. For example, if the patient has a central venous line it is important to target staphylococci, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), while mucositis requires coverage of anaerobes and viridans streptococci. Third, the patient should be stratified as either high or low risk, in order to determine the type of antibiotic used and administration schedule. Finally, potential adverse effects and any history of drug allergy need to be considered.