Low dose “synergistic” gentamycin has been traditionally used in conjunction with anti-staph penicillins or vancomycin to treat staph aureus endocarditis, however the nephrotoxicity of this practice had not been evaluated. In this prospective cohort of safety data from a randomized trial of patients with staph aureus endocarditis, researchers found that 22% of those that received gentamycin, versus only 8% that did not, suffered a decrease in their creatinine clearance. Given the limited efficacy of low dose gent synergy, the authors and an accompanying editorial conclude that the risks outweigh the benefits (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.