Cellulitis cost-effectiveness of therapy

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The use of prophylactic antibiotic therapy to prevent the recurrence of cellulitis was shown to be cost-effective. Low dose penicillin serves to prevent future attacks and offers no significant increase in cost. [1]

A study done in a pediatric population comparing intravenous antibiotic treatment at home versus in the hospital setting showed the former as the more effective and less costly option. [2] [3]

With regard to diagnostic modalities, blood cultures have been shown to be of low yield, with minimal impact on clinical management, thereby not cost-effective for most patients. [4]


  1. Perl B, Gottehrer NP, Raveh D, Schlesinger Y, Rudensky B, Yinnon AM (1999). "Cost-effectiveness of blood cultures for adult patients with cellulitis". Clin Infect Dis. 29 (6): 1483–8. doi:10.1086/313525. PMID 10585800.
  2. Oppong R, Kodabuckus S (2019). "Cost-effectiveness of outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy for children with cellulitis". Lancet Infect Dis. 19 (10): 1041–1042. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30413-X. PMID 31420293.
  3. Ibrahim LF, Huang L, Hopper SM, Dalziel K, Babl FE, Bryant PA (2019). "Intravenous ceftriaxone at home versus intravenous flucloxacillin in hospital for children with cellulitis: a cost-effectiveness analysis". Lancet Infect Dis. 19 (10): 1101–1108. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30288-9. PMID 31420292.
  4. Mason JM, Thomas KS, Crook AM, Foster KA, Chalmers JR, Nunn AJ; et al. (2014). "Prophylactic antibiotics to prevent cellulitis of the leg: economic analysis of the PATCH I & II trials". PLoS One. 9 (2): e82694. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082694. PMC 3925077. PMID 24551029.

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