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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2010 Feb;35(2):156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2009.10.008. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

First-dose and steady-state population pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of piperacillin by continuous or intermittent dosing in critically ill patients with sepsis.

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Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


The objectives of this study were (i) to compare the plasma concentration-time profiles for first-dose and steady-state piperacillin administered by intermittent or continuous dosing to critically ill patients with sepsis and (ii) to use population pharmacokinetics to perform Monte Carlo dosing simulations in order to assess the probability of target attainment (PTA) by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for different piperacillin dosing regimens against bacterial pathogens commonly encountered in critical care units. Plasma samples were collected on Days 1 and 2 of therapy in 16 critically ill patients, with 8 patients receiving intermittent bolus dosing and 8 patients receiving continuous infusion of piperacillin (administered with tazobactam). A population pharmacokinetic model was developed using NONMEM, which found that a two-compartment population pharmacokinetic model best described the data. Total body weight was found to be correlated with drug clearance and was included in the final model. In addition, 2000 critically ill patients were simulated for pharmacodynamic evaluation of PTA by MIC [free (unbound) concentration maintained above the MIC for 50% of the dosing interval (50% f(T>MIC))] and it was found that continuous infusion maintained superior free piperacillin concentrations compared with bolus administration across the dosing interval. Dosing simulations showed that administration of 16g/day by continuous infusion vs. bolus dosing (4g every 6h) provided superior achievement of the pharmacodynamic endpoint (PTA by MIC) at 93% and 53%, respectively. These data suggest that administration of piperacillin by continuous infusion, with a loading dose, both for first dose and for subsequent dosing achieves superior pharmacodynamic targets compared with conventional bolus dosing.

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