Critical illness, including sepsis, causes significant pathophysiologic changes that alter the pharmacokinetics (PK) of antibiotics. Ceftriaxone is one of the most prescribed antibiotics in patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). We sought to develop population PK models of both total ceftriaxone and free ceftriaxone in children admitted to a single-center PICU using a scavenged opportunistic sampling approach. We tested if the presence of sepsis and phase of illness (before or after 48 h of antibiotic treatment) altered ceftriaxone PK parameters. We performed Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate whether dosing regimens commonly used in PICUs in the United States (50 mg/kg of body weight every 12 h versus 24 h) resulted in adequate antimicrobial coverage. We found that a two-compartment model best described both total and free ceftriaxone concentrations. For free concentrations, the population clearance value is 6.54 L/h/70 kg, central volume is 25.4 L/70 kg, and peripheral volume is 19.6 L/70 kg. For both models, we found that allometric weight scaling, postmenstrual age, creatinine clearance, and daily highest temperature had significant effects on clearance. The presence of sepsis or phase of illness did not have a significant effect on clearance or volume of distribution. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrated that to achieve free concentrations above 1 mg/ml for 100% of the dosing intervals, a dosing regimen of 50 mg/kg every 12 h is recommended for most patients. A continuous infusion could be considered if the target is to maintain free concentrations four times above the MICs (4 mg/ml).
- Critically ill