Advertisement

Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Stepping It Up: Treating Diabetic Foot Infections May Take Half as Long as Previously Thought

What to Know

People with diabetes are at risk of diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO), a rare but serious infection of the bones in the foot that sometimes requires surgery or amputation. Antibiotics can often help stop the infection. But they can cause side effects, become less effective over time, and be too costly for some people. How long should such drugs be taken? This study aimed to determine the ideal length of antibiotic treatment for DFO.

The Study

A total of 40 patients recruited in French hospitals participated in the study. Half were treated for 6 weeks, and the other half for 12 weeks. Doctors compared the two groups to see how many patients in each group achieved remission. They defined remission as healing of related wounds, no return of infection for more than 1 month, and no need for surgery or amputation for at least 1 year after taking the antibiotics.

The Results

A total of 40 patients recruited in French hospitals participated in the study. Half were treated for 6 weeks, and the other half for 12 weeks. Doctors compared the two groups to see how many patients in each group achieved remission. They defined remission as healing of related wounds, no return of infection for more than 1 month, and no need for surgery or amputation for at least 1 year after taking the antibiotics.

Takeaways

Six weeks of antibiotics may be enough to successfully treat people with DFO who have not had surgery. However, larger and longer studies that include more patients and follow them for longer than a year are needed to be sure this study’s results are true for most patients.

Six-week versus twelve-week antibiotic therapy for nonsurgically treated diabetic foot osteomyelitis: a multicenter open-label controlled randomized study, by Tone and colleagues. Diabetes Care 2015;38:302–307 https://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-1514

The information on this screen does not take the place of care from your doctor or other health care provider. If you have general questions about diabetes or diabetes-related research, e-mail askada@diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2382).

 
Advertisement

Get Free Health Tips

Register for free recipes, news you can use, and simple health tips – delivered right to your inbox.

Advertisement