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Intensive Care Med. 1990;16 Suppl 3:S229-34.

Impact of dosage schedule of antibiotics on the treatment of serious infections.

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  • 1Erasmus University, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Experimental studies suggest that the importance of the antibiotic dosage schedule for therapeutic efficacy in severe infection and when host defences are impaired is related to the class of antibiotic. The efficacy of beta-lactams is mainly dependent on the maintenance of adequate antibiotic concentrations in plasma during the entire treatment interval, and not on high peak concentrations. The efficacy of aminoglycosides is related to the total dose administered, i.e., the area under the concentration-time curve, irrespective of the frequency of administration. This difference in efficacy between beta-lactams and aminoglycosides in relation to the dosage schedule correlate well with differences between both classes of antibiotics in kinetics of antibacterial activity in vitro and in vivo. Another factor relevant in this respect is the post-antibiotic effect (PAE) which means the suppression of bacterial regrowth at the end of the period of exposure to antibiotic.

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