Antibiotic Therapy in Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Switch and Step Down Therapy

Hugh A. Cassiere, MD, Winthrop University Hospital


Medscape General Medicine. 1998;1(3) 

In This Article


Replacing intravenous antibiotics with effective oral antibiotics in the treatment of serious infections (community-acquired pneumonia, nosocomial pneumonia, and urinary tract disease) is known as "switch therapy." If the change is accomplished with the same antibiotic as that administered intravenously, then the change is labeled "step-down therapy." If a different drug is used (ie, as in switching from an IV 3rd generation cephalosporin to oral erythromycin), the maneuver is labeled as "sequential therapy."