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J Pharm Pract. 2019 Aug;32(4):442-446. doi: 10.1177/0897190018764564. Epub 2018 Mar 19.

The Impact of AUC-Based Monitoring on Pharmacist-Directed Vancomycin Dose Adjustments in Complicated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection.

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1 Department of Pharmacy, Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, New York, NY, USA.
2 Department of Pharmacy, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USA.
3 Department of Medicine, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, NY, USA.



This study aimed to assess the impact of area under the curve (AUC)-based vancomycin monitoring on pharmacist-initiated dose adjustments after transitioning from a trough-only to an AUC-based monitoring method at our institution.


A retrospective cohort study of patients treated with vancomycin for complicated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection between November 2013 and December 2016 was conducted. The frequency of pharmacist-initiated dose adjustments was assessed for patients monitored via trough-only and AUC-based approaches for trough ranges: 10 to 14.9 mg/L and 15 to 20 mg/L.


Fifty patients were included: 36 in the trough-based monitoring and 14 in the AUC-based-monitoring group. The vancomycin dose was increased in 71.4% of patients when troughs were 10 to 14.9 mg/L when a trough-only approach was used and in only 25% of patients when using AUC estimation (P = .048). In the AUC group, the dose was increased only when AUC/minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) <400; unchanged regimens had an estimated AUC/MIC ≥400. The AUC-based monitoring did not significantly increase the frequency of dose reductions when trough concentrations were 15 to 20 mg/L (AUC: 33.3% vs trough: 4.6%; P = .107).


The AUC-based monitoring resulted in fewer patients with dose adjustments when trough levels were 10 to 14.9 mg/L. The AUC-based monitoring has the potential to reduce unnecessary vancomycin exposure and warrants further investigation.


AUC; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; therapeutic drug monitoring; vancomycin

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