Two studies today in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that partial oral antibiotic therapy may be appropriate for certain patients with bone and joint infections and infective endocarditis.

The studies report the results of two randomized controlled trials comparing intravenous (IV) versus oral antibiotic therapy for serious bacterial infections. In one trial, UK investigators found that oral antibiotic treatment was noninferior to IV treatment when used during the first 6 weeks of management of complex bone and joint infections. In the other trial, conducted in Denmark,

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switching patients with infective endocarditis on the left side of the heart from IV to oral antibiotics during treatment was found to be noninferior to continuous IV therapy.

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