Ortho-McNeil has been cheered on news that a once-daily, five-day regimen of its antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) has garnered approval for treating acute bacterial sinusitis. It becomes, says Ortho-McNeil, the first and only short-course fluoroquinolone regimen approved for this condition – and it is clearly hoping to capture a healthy slice of the pie with this new formulation designed to promote compliance and reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.

The approval is based on a 780-patient study that showed a short course of Levaquin was as effective as a traditional regimen of the drug over a 10-day period, with a clinical success rate of 91.4% versus 88.6%.

Sinusitis is one of the most common conditions seen in a doctor’s surgery, and is the fifth most-common condition for which an antibiotic is prescribed. Every year in the USA alone, an estimated 20 million cases are diagnosed.