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Outcome assessment of minimizing vancomycin monitoring and dosing adjustments

C M Karam, P S McKinnon, M M Neuhauser, M J Rybak
Pharmacotherapy 1999, 19 (3): 257-66
An approach to minimize monitoring of vancomycin therapy was evaluated in 120 patients, and results were compared with data from 120 patients in whom vancomycin therapy was monitored and adjusted based on serum peak and trough concentrations and traditional pharmacokinetic methods. Patients dosed by the nomogram (NM) had regimens adjusted based on actual body weight, estimated creatinine clearance, and a targeted trough concentration of 5-20 microg/ml. A single trough serum concentration was drawn only after 5 or more days of therapy. Overall, the average length of therapy was similar between groups (9.9 +/- 9.4 days NM and 8.6 +/- 7.2 days pharmacokinetic). The most common regimen for both groups was 1 g every 12 hours, although NM patients received significantly fewer grams/day (1.9 +/- 0.7 g/day) than the pharmacokinetic group (2.2 +/- 1.0 g/day, p<0.04). Patients dosed by NM also had significantly fewer regimen changes (0.63 +/- 0.96 vs pharmacokinetic 0.92 +/- 0.97, p=0.02) as well as significantly fewer serum concentrations measured/patient (1.08 +/- 1.9 vs 1.96 +/- 2.0, p=0.001). In addition, serum concentrations for NM patients were drawn later in therapy (5.4 +/- 2.5 vs 3.8 +/- 3.4 days, p=0.004). Of patients dosed by NM guidelines, 77 had trough concentrations drawn; these data were used to validate the nomogram. Seventy-two patients (94%) had trough concentrations in the target range of 5-20 microg/ml. No differences were found between groups with respect to cure, improvement, failure, or days to eradication, or with respect to nephrotoxicity. Finally, total drug cost/patient was not different between groups. A considerable cost savings to our institution was noted for patients dosed by NM compared with pharmacokinetics ($232.5 +/- 50.74 vs $403.75 +/- 70.97/mo, p=0.009) based on levels saved. Caution should be applied when generalizing our results to other patient populations.


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