Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Pharmacother. 2017 Nov;51(11):937-944. doi: 10.1177/1060028017720946. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

Intravenous Vancomycin Associated With the Development of Nephrotoxicity in Patients With Class III Obesity.

Author information

1 University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
2 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
3 Cooper University Hospital/Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ, USA.
4 Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ, USA.
5 Kaweah Delta Health Care District, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



A consensus statement recommends initial intravenous (IV) vancomycin dosing of 15-20 mg/kg every 8- 24 hours, with an optional 25- to 30-mg/kg loading dose. Although some studies have shown an association between weight and the development of vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity, results have been inconsistent.


To evaluate the correlation between incidence of nephrotoxicity associated with weight-based IV vancomycin dosing strategies in nonobese and obese patients.


This retrospective cohort study evaluated hospitalized adult patients admitted who received IV vancomycin. Patients were stratified into nonobese (body mass index [BMI] <25 kg/m2), obesity class I and II (BMI 30-39.9kg/m2), and obesity class III (BMI≥40 kg/m2) groups; patients who were overweight but not obese were excluded. Incidence of nephrotoxicity and serum vancomycin trough concentrations were evaluated.


Of a total of 62 documented cases of nephrotoxicity (15.1%), 13 (8.7%), 23 (14.3%), and 26 (26.3%) cases were observed in nonobese, obesity class I and II, and obesity class III groups, respectively ( P=0.002). Longer durations of therapy ( P<0.0001), higher initial maintenance doses in both total milligrams/day ( P=0.0137) and milligrams/kilogram ( P=0.0307), and any trough level >20 mg/L ( P<0.0001) were identified as predictors of development of nephrotoxicity. Concomitant administration of piperacillin/tazobactam, diuretics, and IV contrast were associated with development of nephrotoxicity ( P<0.005, all). Patients with class III obesity were 3-times as likely to develop nephrotoxicity when compared with nonobese patients (odds ratio [OR]=2.99; CI=1.12-7.94) and obesity class I and II patients (OR=3.14; CI=1.27-7.75).


Obesity and other factors are associated with a higher risk of vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity.


body mass index; infection; nephrotoxicity; obesity; patient safety; therapeutic drug monitoring; vancomycin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center