Send to

Choose Destination
J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Dec;60(6):1206-15. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

Polymyxin B for the treatment of multidrug-resistant pathogens: a critical review.

Author information

Infectious Diseases Service, Hospital São Lucas da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.


Polymyxins have re-emerged in clinical practice owing to the dry antibiotic development pipeline and worldwide increasing prevalence of nosocomial infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria. Polymyxin B and colistin (polymyxin E) have been ultimately considered as the last-resort treatment of such infections. Microbiological, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and clinical data available for polymyxin B are reviewed in this paper. Polymyxin B has rapid in vitro bactericidal activity against major MDR Gram-negative bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Acquired resistance to this agent is still rare among these pathogens. However, optimized dosage regimens are not known yet. Good clinical outcomes have been observed in the majority of the patients treated with intravenous polymyxin B in recent studies. However, these studies failed to provide definitive conclusions due to limitations of study design and additional clinical trials are required. Although combination therapy may be an attractive option based on some currently available in vitro data, clinical data supporting such recommendations are lacking. Since polymyxins will be increasingly used for the treatment of infections caused by MDR bacteria, clinical pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicodynamic studies underpinning the optimal use of these drugs are urgently required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center