Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Population pharmacokinetics of piperacillin in febrile children receiving cancer chemotherapy: the impact of body weight and target on an optimal dosing regimen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


View graph of relations

BACKGROUND: The β-lactam antibiotic piperacillin (in combination with tazobactam) is commonly chosen for empirical treatment of suspected bacterial infections. However, pharmacokinetic variability among patient populations and across ages leads to uncertainty when selecting a dosing regimen to achieve an appropriate pharmacodynamic target.

OBJECTIVES: To guide dosing by establishing a population pharmacokinetic model for unbound piperacillin in febrile children receiving cancer chemotherapy, and to assess pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic target attainment (100% fT > 1×MIC and 50% fT > 4×MIC) and resultant exposure, across body weights.

METHODS: Forty-three children admitted for 89 febrile episodes contributed 482 samples to the pharmacokinetic analysis. The typical doses required for target attainment were compared for various dosing regimens, in particular prolonged infusions, across MICs and body weights.

RESULTS: A two-compartment model with inter-fever-episode variability in CL, and body weight included through allometry, described the data. A high CL of 15.4 L/h (70 kg) combined with high glomerular filtration rate (GFR) values indicated rapid elimination and hyperfiltration. The target of 50% fT > 4×MIC was achieved for an MIC of 4.0 mg/L in a typical patient with extended infusions of 2-3 (q6h) or 3-4 (q8h) h, at or below the standard adult dose (75 and 100 mg/kg/dose for q6h and q8h, respectively). Higher doses or continuous infusion were needed to achieve 100% fT > 1×MIC due to the rapid piperacillin elimination.

CONCLUSIONS: The licensed dose for children with febrile neutropenia (80 mg/kg q6h as a 30 min infusion) performs poorly for attainment of fT>MIC pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic targets. Given the population pharmacokinetic profile, feasible dosing regimens with reasonable exposure are continuous infusion (100% fT > 1×MIC) or prolonged infusions (50% fT > 4×MIC).

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2984-2993
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

ID: 58441169