We aimed to evaluate retrospectively the clinical and bacteriological efficacy and potential side-effects of teicoplanin treatment in neonates with proven staphylococcal infection. There were 37 episodes of staphylococcal septicaemia in neonates with a mean gestational age of 34.2 +/- 2.3 weeks; 26 were caused by coagulase-negative staphylococcal (CONS) sepsis and 11 by Staphylococcus aureus sepsis. All episodes were treated with teicoplanin (intravenous loading dose 16 mg/kg followed by a maintenance dose of 8 mg/kg daily). The methicillin resistance and antibiotic susceptibilities of both micro-organisms were evaluated. Bacterial eradication was achieved in 89.1% of cases and mortality was 16.2%. The mean duration of treatment of the survivors was 11.6 +/- 2.3 days. There were no drug-related adverse events and the biochemical and haematological tests showed no clinically significant changes in relation to teicoplanin therapy. Our results suggest that teicoplanin is highly effective in neonatal staphylococcal sepsis.