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July 16, 1982

Outpatient Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy

JAMA. 1982;248(3):356. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330030062031

In this issue (p 336), Poretz et al report the largest published series of patients treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics as outpatients. Their experience closely parallels that of previous reports that document the efficacy, safety, and cost savings of this form of therapy.1-3

In each of the published series, bone and joint infections predominate, with occasional cases of endocarditis and other deep-seated infections. Long-term follow-up is not provided in the article by Poretz and co-workers, but short-term efficacy was clearly demonstrated. Factors that might affect the efficacy of antibiotic therapy in the outpatient setting, eg, antibiotic stability, patient compliance, complications of the initial infection, and superinfection, were well monitored by the authors. Another potential feature of outpatient therapy could be a tendency to delay appropriate changes in therapy or to persist in ineffective therapy because of infrequent observations of the patient. In each of the series published to date,