Switch therapy, changing from parenteral antibiotic administration during the early stages of infection to an oral agent for the remainder of therapy, represents a convenient, clinically efficacious and cost-effective means of treating infection. The selection of the oral agent is very important and depends on the compound's in vitro antimicrobial activity, pharmacokinetic profile, clinical efficacy, tolerability, drug interactions, dosing schedule and cost. According to these criteria, cefixime is an ideal candidate for use as the oral antibiotic in switch therapy for LRTIs. Several clinical studies have demonstrated cefixime's efficacy in switch therapy and cost-effectiveness due to substantial savings in drug acquisition and other indirect costs. (C) 2000 Prous Science. All rights reserved.