Seven RCTs (n = 1,032 randomised, n=227 analysed) were included in the review. Four studies were assessed as being at moderate risk of bias and three at moderate to high risk.
Single therapy comparisons (1 RCT): a single small RCT (n=32 analysed) compared long course intramuscular cephalosporin ceforanide with intravenous cefapirin. There was no significant difference between the treatments.
Single versus combination therapy comparisons (4 RCTs): one RCT (n=74 analysed) compared short course cloxacillin and gentamicin with cloxacillin alone; a second study (n=16 analysed) compared short course cloxacillin and gentamicin with long course teicoplanin; a third (n=20 analysed) compared long course oxacillin alone with oxacillin plus gentamicin; a final study (n=15 analysed) compared long courses of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole with vancomycin. In no case was there any significant differences in the failure rates.
Combination therapy comparisons (2 RCTs): one small RCT (n=31 analysed) compared short courses of gentamicin plus one of cloxacillin, vancomycin or teicoplanin; a second RCT (n=39 analysed) compared intravenous oxacillin plus gentamicin with oral ciproflaxacin plus rifampicin. No significant differences between the groups were found in either trial.