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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1975 Oct;8(4):434-8.

Prospective comparative study of variable dosage and variable frequency regimens for administration of gentamicin.


In patients with impaired renal function, careful adjustment of gentamicin dosage is required to achieve therapeutic yet nontoxic concentrations. Two regimens that differ in pharmacodynamic characteristics have been recommended for this purpose: prolonging the intervals between administration of equal doses (variable frequency regimen [VFR]) or administering a loading dose followed at the usual intervals by reduced maintenance doses (variable dosage regimen [VDR]). These regimens were compared in a prospective, randomized study of 20 seriously ill hospitalized patients, 10 on VFR and 10 on VDR. Wide variability in peak serum levels of gentamicin was observed both between patients and in individual patients after separate injections of the same dosage. As predicted by the design of these regimens, the trough serum levels of gentamicin correlated significantly with the serum creatinine concentrations in patients on the VDR but not in patients on the VFR. A gentamicin trough level of >/=4 mug/ml was the only variable among those tested that correlated significantly with development or progression of renal insufficiency during treatment with gentamicin, but such trough levels were observed frequently on both regimens. Whereas this study does not permit a direct comparison of the therapeutic efficacy of VDR and VFR, no difference in the risk of nephrotoxicity with these regimens was observed.

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