Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacotherapy. 2011 Sep;31(9):871-6. doi: 10.1592/phco.31.9.871.

Impact of a hospitalwide increase in empiric pediatric vancomycin dosing on initial trough concentrations.

Author information

Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0503, USA.



To evaluate the impact of a hospitalwide increase in the recommended vancomycin starting dose from 45 to 60 mg/kg/day on initial vancomycin trough concentrations in children suspected of having an invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.


Retrospective medical record review.


Dedicated children's hospital located in a tertiary care, academic medical center.


A total of 182 children aged 1 month-12 years with normal renal function who had suspected MRSA infections treated with vancomycin during two different starting dose recommendation periods: 45 mg/kg/day divided every 8 hours during July 2006-June 2007 (low-dose group [88 children]) and 60 mg/kg/day divided every 6 hours during July 2008-June 2009 (high-dose group [94 children]).


Data on patient demographics, vancomycin doses, and initial vancomycin trough concentrations were collected. No significant demographic differences were noted between patients in the low-dose and high-dose groups. The mean ± SD initial vancomycin trough level increased from 7 ± 5 μg/ml in the low-dose group to 9 ± 5 μg/ml in the high-dose group (p<0.001). The percentage of patients with an initial trough level less than 5 μg/ml declined from 38% (33/88 children) in the low-dose group to 17% (16/94 children) in the high-dose group (p<0.001), whereas the percentage of patients with an initial trough concentration in the potentially adverse range (> 20 μg/ml) did not change between the two groups (2% vs 2%, p=0.9). Less than 14% (13/94 children) achieved a trough level in the range of 15-20 μg/ml in the high-dose group.


An increase in the recommended vancomycin starting dose to 60 mg/kg/day decreased the likelihood of an initial low vancomycin trough level (< 5 μg/ml), with no increase in the proportion of patients with trough levels in a potentially toxic range. The 60-mg/kg/day dose did not consistently achieve a vancomycin trough of 15-20 μg/ml, a goal suggested by some experts for adults. Comparative effectiveness studies are needed to directly evaluate vancomycin dosing regimens and clinical outcomes for children with invasive MRSA infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center