Last week, the FDA approved Zyvox (known generically as linezolid), the first in a new class of synthetic antibacterial drugs -- called oxazolidinones -- designed to treat a number of drug-resistant infections. Zyvox has proven effective in treatment of infections associated with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) as well as hospital-acquired pneumonia and complicated skin and skin structure infections, including cases caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This is the first drug to be approved in over 40 years for fighting hospital-acquired infections that are resistant to antibiotics. "It comes at a time when we were literally running out of antibiotics," said Dr. Robert C. Moellering Jr., physician-in-chief of Boston's Beth Israel-Deaconness Hospital, in a recent AP news article. In an attempt to preserve the long-term effectiveness of Zyvox and discourage microbes from developing renewed resistance, some doctors are calling for cautious use of the drug for only the worst antibiotic-resistant infections. This week's In The News takes a look at this new development and its consequences for antibiotic resistant bacteria.
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