Linezolid (Page 5 of 7)

12.4 Microbiology

Mechanism of Action
Linezolid is a synthetic antibacterial agent of the oxazolidinone class, which has clinical utility in the treatment of infections caused by aerobic Gram-positive bacteria. The in vitro spectrum of activity of linezolid also includes certain Gram-negative bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. Linezolid binds to a site on the bacterial 23S ribosomal RNA of the 50S subunit and prevents the formation of a functional 70S initiation complex, which is essential for bacterial reproduction. The results of time-kill studies have shown linezolid to be bacteriostatic against enterococci and staphylococci. For streptococci, linezolid was found to be bactericidal for the majority of isolates.

Mechanisms of Resistance
In vitro studies have shown that point mutations in the 23S rRNA are associated with linezolid resistance. Reports of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium becoming resistant to linezolid during its clinical use have been published. There are reports of Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant) developing resistance to linezolid during clinical use. The linezolid resistance in these organisms is associated with a point mutation in the 23S rRNA (substitution of thymine for guanine at position 2576) of the organism. Organisms resistant to oxazolidinones via mutations in chromosomal genes encoding 23S rRNA or ribosomal proteins (L3 and L4) are generally cross-resistant to linezolid. Also linezolid resistance in staphylococci mediated by the enzyme methyltransferase has been reported. This resistance is mediated by the cfr (chloramphenicol-florfenicol) gene located on a plasmid which is transferable between staphylococci.

Interaction with Other Antimicrobial Drugs
In vitro studies have demonstrated additivity or indifference between linezolid and vancomycin, gentamicin, rifampin, imipenem-cilastatin, aztreonam, ampicillin, or streptomycin.

Linezolid has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections. [see Indications and Usage (1)].

Gram-positive bacteria
Enterococcus faecium (vancomycin-resistant isolates only)
Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant isolates)
Streptococcus agalactiae
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Streptococcus pyogenes.

The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown. Greater than 90% of the following bacteria exhibit an in vitro MIC less than or equal to the linezolid-susceptible breakpoint for organisms of similar genus shown in Table 12. The safety and effectiveness of linezolid in treating clinical infections due to these bacteria have not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.

Gram-positive bacteria
Enterococcus faecalis (including vancomycin-resistant isolates)
Enterococcus faecium (vancomycin-susceptible isolates)
Staphylococcus epidermidis (including methicillin-resistant isolates)
Staphylococcus haemolyticus
Viridans group streptococci

Gram-negative bacteria
Pasteurella multocida

Susceptibility Test Methods
For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see: https://www.fda.gov/STIC.

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Lifetime studies in animals have not been conducted to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of linezolid. Neither mutagenic nor clastogenic potential was found in a battery of tests including: assays for mutagenicity (Ames bacterial reversion and CHO cell mutation), an in vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay, an in vitro chromosome aberration assay in human lymphocytes, and an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.

Linezolid did not affect the fertility or reproductive performance of adult female rats. It reversibly decreased fertility and reproductive performance in adult male rats when given at doses ≥ 50 mg/kg/day, with exposures approximately equal to or greater than the expected human exposure level (exposure comparisons are based on AUCs). The reversible fertility effects were mediated through altered spermatogenesis. Affected spermatids contained abnormally formed and oriented mitochondria and were non-viable. Epithelial cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia in the epididymis was observed in conjunction with decreased fertility. Similar epididymal changes were not seen in dogs.

In sexually mature male rats exposed to drug as juveniles, mildly decreased fertility was observed following treatment with linezolid through most of their period of sexual development (50 mg/kg/day from days 7 to 36 of age, and 100 mg/kg/day from days 37 to 55 of age), with exposures up to 1.7-fold greater than mean AUCs observed in pediatric patients aged 3 months to 11 years. Decreased fertility was not observed with shorter treatment periods, corresponding to exposure in utero through the early neonatal period (gestation day 6 through postnatal day 5), neonatal exposure (postnatal days 5 to 21), or to juvenile exposure (postnatal days 22 to 35). Reversible reductions in sperm motility and altered sperm morphology were observed in rats treated from postnatal day 22 to 35.

13.2 Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Target organs of linezolid toxicity were similar in juvenile and adult rats and dogs. Dose- and time-dependent myelosuppression, as evidenced by bone marrow hypocellularity/decreased hematopoiesis, decreased extramedullary hematopoiesis in spleen and liver, and decreased levels of circulating erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets have been seen in animal studies. Lymphoid depletion occurred in thymus, lymph nodes, and spleen. Generally, the lymphoid findings were associated with anorexia, weight loss, and suppression of body weight gain, which may have contributed to the observed effects.

In rats administered linezolid orally for 6 months, non-reversible, minimal to mild axonal degeneration of sciatic nerves was observed at 80 mg/kg/day; minimal degeneration of the sciatic nerve was also observed in 1 male at this dose level at a 3-month interim necropsy. Sensitive morphologic evaluation of perfusion-fixed tissues was conducted to investigate evidence of optic nerve degeneration. Minimal to moderate optic nerve degeneration was evident in 2 male rats after 6 months of dosing, but the direct relationship to drug was equivocal because of the acute nature of the finding and its asymmetrical distribution. The nerve degeneration observed was microscopically comparable to spontaneous unilateral optic nerve degeneration reported in aging rats and may be an exacerbation of common background change.

These effects were observed at exposure levels that are comparable to those observed in some human subjects. The hematopoietic and lymphoid effects were reversible, although in some studies, reversal was incomplete within the duration of the recovery period.

14 CLINICAL STUDIES

14.1 Adults

Nosocomial Pneumonia Adult patients with clinically and radiologically documented nosocomial pneumonia were enrolled in a randomized, multi-center, double-blind trial. Patients were treated for 7 to 21 days. One group received linezolid I.V. Injection 600 mg every 12 hours, and the other group received vancomycin 1 g every 12 hours intravenously. Both groups received concomitant aztreonam (1 to 2 g every 8 hours intravenously), which could be continued if clinically indicated. There were 203 linezolid-treated and 193 vancomycin-treated patients enrolled in the study. One hundred twenty-two (60%) linezolid-treated patients and 103 (53%) vancomycin-treated patients were clinically evaluable. The cure rates in clinically evaluable patients were 57% for linezolid-treated patients and 60% for vancomycin-treated patients. The cure rates in clinically evaluable patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia were 47% for linezolid-treated patients and 40% for vancomycin-treated patients. A modified intent-to-treat (MITT) analysis of 94 linezolid-treated patients and 83 vancomycin-treated patients included subjects who had a pathogen isolated before treatment. The cure rates in the MITT analysis were 57% in linezolid-treated patients and 46% in vancomycin-treated patients. The cure rates by pathogen for microbiologically evaluable patients are presented in Table 14.

Table 14. Cure Rates at the Test-of-Cure Visit for Microbiologically Evaluable Adult Patients with Nosocomial Pneumonia

Pathogen

Cured

Linezolid n/N (%)

Vancomycin n/N (%)

Staphylococcus aureus

23/38 (61)

14/23 (61)

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus

13/22 (59)

7/10 (70)

Streptococcus pneumoniae

9/9 (100)

9/10 (90)

Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections Adult patients with clinically documented complicated skin and skin structure infections were enrolled in a randomized, multi-center, double-blind, double-dummy trial comparing study medications administered intravenously followed by medications given orally for a total of 10 to 21 days of treatment. One group of patients received linezolid I.V. Injection 600 mg every 12 hours followed by linezolid tablets 600 mg every 12 hours; the other group received oxacillin 2 g every 6 hours intravenously followed by dicloxacillin 500 mg every 6 hours orally. Patients could receive concomitant aztreonam if clinically indicated. There were 400 linezolid-treated and 419 oxacillin-treated patients enrolled in the study. Two hundred forty-five (61%) linezolid-treated patients and 242 (58%) oxacillin-treated patients were clinically evaluable. The cure rates in clinically evaluable patients were 90% in linezolid-treated patients and 85% in oxacillin-treated patients. A modified intent-to-treat (MITT) analysis of 316 linezolid-treated patients and 313 oxacillin-treated patients included subjects who met all criteria for study entry. The cure rates in the MITT analysis were 86% in linezolid-treated patients and 82% in oxacillin-treated patients. The cure rates by pathogen for microbiologically evaluable patients are presented in Table 15.

Table 15. Cure Rates at the Test-of-Cure Visit for Microbiologically Evaluable Adult Patients with Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections

Pathogen

Cured

Linezolid n/N (%)

Oxacillin/Dicloxacillin n/N (%)

Staphylococcus aureus

73/83 (88)

72/84 (86)

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus

2/3 (67)

0/0 (-)

Streptococcus agalactiae

6/6 (100)

3/6 (50)

Streptococcus pyogenes

18/26 (69)

21/28 (75)

A separate study provided additional experience with the use of linezolid in the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. This was a randomized, open-label trial in hospitalized adult patients with documented or suspected MRSA infection.

One group of patients received linezolid I.V. Injection 600 mg every 12 hours followed by linezolid tablets 600 mg every 12 hours. The other group of patients received vancomycin 1 g every 12 hours intravenously. Both groups were treated for 7 to 28 days, and could receive concomitant aztreonam or gentamicin if clinically indicated. The cure rates in microbiologically evaluable patients with MRSA skin and skin structure infection were 26/33 (79%) for linezolid-treated patients and 24/33 (73%) for vancomycin-treated patients.

Diabetic Foot Infections Adult diabetic patients with clinically documented complicated skin and skin structure infections (“diabetic foot infections”) were enrolled in a randomized (2:1 ratio), multi-center, open-label trial comparing study medications administered intravenously or orally for a total of 14 to 28 days of treatment. One group of patients received linezolid 600 mg every 12 hours intravenously or orally; the other group received ampicillin/sulbactam 1.5 to 3 g intravenously or amoxicillin/clavulanate 500 to 875 mg every 8 to 12 hours orally. In countries where ampicillin/sulbactam is not marketed, amoxicillin/clavulanate 500 mg to 2 g every 6 hours was used for the intravenous regimen. Patients in the comparator group could also be treated with vancomycin 1 g every 12 hours intravenously if MRSA was isolated from the foot infection. Patients in either treatment group who had Gram-negative bacilli isolated from the infection site could also receive aztreonam 1 to 2 g every 8 to 12 hours intravenously. All patients were eligible to receive appropriate adjunctive treatment methods, such as debridement and off-loading, as typically required in the treatment of diabetic foot infections, and most patients received these treatments. There were 241 linezolid-treated and 120 comparator-treated patients in the intent-to-treat (ITT) study population. Two hundred twelve (86%) linezolid-treated patients and 105 (85%) comparator-treated patients were clinically evaluable. In the ITT population, the cure rates were 68.5% (165/241) in linezolid-treated patients and 64% (77/120) in comparator-treated patients, where those with indeterminate and missing outcomes were considered failures. The cure rates in the clinically evaluable patients (excluding those with indeterminate and missing outcomes) were 83% (159/192) and 73% (74/101) in the linezolid- and comparator-treated patients, respectively. A critical post-hoc analysis focused on 121 linezolid-treated and 60 comparator-treated patients who had a Gram-positive pathogen isolated from the site of infection or from blood, who had less evidence of underlying osteomyelitis than the overall study population, and who did not receive prohibited antimicrobials. Based upon that analysis, the cure rates were 71% (86/121) in the linezolid-treated patients and 63% (38/60) in the comparator-treated patients. None of the above analyses were adjusted for the use of adjunctive therapies. The cure rates by pathogen for microbiologically evaluable patients are presented in Table16.

Table 16. Cure Rates at the Test-of-Cure Visit for Microbiologically Evaluable Adult Patients with Diabetic Foot Infections

Pathogen

Cured

Linezolid n/N (%)

Comparator n/N (%)

Staphylococcus aureus

49/63 (78)

20/29 (69)

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus

12/17 (71)

2/3 (67)

Streptococcus agalactiae

25/29 (86)

9/16 (56)

Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcal Infections Adult patients with documented or suspected vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infection were enrolled in a randomized, multi-center, double-blind trial comparing a high dose of linezolid (600 mg) with a low dose of linezolid (200 mg) given every 12 hours either intravenously (IV) or orally for 7 to 28 days. Patients could receive concomitant aztreonam or aminoglycosides. There were 79 patients randomized to high-dose linezolid and 66 to low-dose linezolid. The intent-to-treat (ITT) population with documented vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infection at baseline consisted of 65 patients in the high-dose arm and 52 in the low-dose arm.

The cure rates for the ITT population with documented vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infection at baseline are presented in Table 17 by source of infection. These cure rates do not include patients with missing or indeterminate outcomes. The cure rate was higher in the high-dose arm than in the low-dose arm, although the difference was not statistically significant at the 0.05 level.

Table 17. Cure Rates at the Test-of-Cure Visit for ITT Adult Patients with Documented Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcal Infections at Baseline

*
Includes sources of infection such as hepatic abscess, biliary sepsis, necrotic gall bladder, pericolonic abscess, pancreatitis, and catheter-related infection.

Source of Infection

Cured

Linezolid 600 mg every 12 hours n/N (%)

Linezolid 200 mg every 12 hours n/N (%)

Any site

39/58 (67)

24/46 (52)

Any site with associated bacteremia

39/58 (67)

4/14 (29)

Bacteremia of unknown origin

5/10 (50)

2/7 (29)

Skin and skin structure

9/13 (69)

5/5 (100)

Urinary tract

12/19 (63)

12/20 (60)

Pneumonia

2/3 (67)

0/1 (0)

Other *

11/13 (85)

5/13 (39)

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