March 01, 2003
ABSTRACT: The emergence of drug-resistant pneumococci has changed the empiric treatment of community-acquired pneumonia. Newer fluoroquinolones with activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae offer an alternative in the treatment of infection with penicillin-resistant strains. These agents are not recommended as first-line therapy because of concerns about the development of resistance. Reserve the fluoroquinolones for patients who are allergic to macrolides and β-lactams, have failed to respond to a first-line agent, or have a documented infection with a highly resistant strain. The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 65 years and older, adults with chronic car-diopulmonary diseases, and immunocompromised persons. Consider revaccination every 6 years in asplenic patients and immunocompromised persons. In addition, vaccination against influenza can help prevent secondary pneumonia and reduce the need for hospitalization.