Highlights on the appropriate use of fluoroquinolones in respiratory tract infections

Francesco Blasi, Paolo Tarsia, Stefano Aliberti, PierAchille Santus, Luigi Allegra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The impact of respiratory infections on public health is increasing, and lower respiratory tract infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Moreover, most antibiotic prescriptions are related to respiratory infections and this is probably one of the main determinants of the increasing rate of bacterial resistance in both community and hospital settings. This has been the catalyst for the development of new drugs, such as the new fluoroquinolones. The new fluoroquinolones have an excellent spectrum providing cover for the most important respiratory pathogens, including atypical and "typical" pathogens. The pharmacokinetic and dynamic properties of the new fluoroquinolones have a significant impact on their clinical and bacteriological efficacy. They cause a concentration-dependent killing with a sustained post-antibiotic effect. Fluoroquinolones combine exceptional efficacy with cost-effectiveness. Not surprisingly, different guidelines have inserted these agents among the drugs of choice in the empirical therapy of LRTIs. This review discusses the most recent data on the bacteriological and clinical activity of the new fluoroquinolones and critically analyses the risks of a potential overuse of this valuable new class of drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2006



  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Community-acquired respiratory infections
  • Fluoroquinolones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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