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Usefulness of therapeutic drug monitoring of piperacillin and meropenem in routine clinical practice: a prospective cohort study in critically ill patients


Background Beta-lactam anti-infective levels after standard dosing have been shown to be subtherapeutic when renal clearance is augmented.

Objective To determine if piperacillin and meropenem are found to be in their therapeutic range in infected critically ill patients when administered by continuous intravenous infusion (CII) assisted by a therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) report issued by the pharmacy service.

Methods This prospective non-controlled intervention study evaluated septic patients in an intensive care unit. Patients received a loading dose of meropenem or piperacillin-tazobactam and the antibiotics were afterwards administered by CII. Blood concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography assays. The adequacy of β-lactam therapy in the cohort subjected to intervention was assessed by determining whether plasma levels during CII were >4 times the informed minimum inhibitory concentration during the first 96 hours of treatment.

Results A total of 124 patients were subject to TDM during antibiotic treatment but, for the analysis of the fulfilment of pharmacodynamic requirements, data from 31/124 (25%) were excluded. Of the whole cohort of treatment courses, 57/93 (61.3%) reached the target level. Plasma levels were adequate in 41/70 (58.6%) and 16/23 (69.6%) of the patients treated with piperacillin-tazobactam and meropenem, respectively. Globally, recommendations based on TDM results were followed in 35/93 (37.6%) of the treatment courses.

Conclusions The results of the study show that, in critically ill patients with sepsis, there is a significant proportion of treatment courses where target levels are not reached even if the antibiotics are administered by CII and TDM support is provided by the pharmacy service. This TDM support should be offered on a real-time basis to be really useful.

  • infectious diseases
  • pharmacokinetics and dynamics
  • acute renal failure
  • therapeutic drug monitoring
  • meropenem continous intravenous infusion
  • piperacillin-tazobactam continous intravenous infusion
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