(HealthDay News) — For patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO), six weeks of antibiotic therapy seems as effective as 12 weeks of treatment, according to a study published online November 20 in Diabetes Care.

Alina Tone, MD, from Gustave Dron Hospital in Tourcoing, France, and colleagues compared the effectiveness of six vs. 12 weeks of antibiotic therapy in 40 patients with nonsurgically-treated DFO enrolled in a prospective randomized trial. During the monitoring period, remission of osteomyelitis was defined as complete and persistent healing of the wound, absence of recurrent infection at the initial site or that of adjacent rays, and no need for surgical bone resection or amputation at the end of at least 12 months of follow-up.

The researchers found that remission was obtained in 65% of patients with no significant differences between patients treated for six vs. 12 weeks (12/20 treated for six weeks vs. 14/20 treated for 12 weeks; P=0.50). No significant parameters were found in association with patient outcome. There were fewer patients who experienced gastrointestinal adverse events related to antimicrobial therapy among those treated for six weeks versus those treated for 12 weeks (15 vs. 45%; P=0.04).

“The present multicenter prospective randomized study provides data suggesting that six-week duration of antibiotic therapy may be sufficient in patients with DFO for whom nonsurgical treatment is considered,” the authors write.

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