Paediatr Drugs. 2021 Apr 8. doi: 10.1007/s40272-021-00445-3. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is widely used in pediatric intensive care, but the safe and effective use of this drug is challenging.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the impact of a vancomycin protocol on trough serum concentrations.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective quasiexperimental study in patients aged ≤ 18 years in intensive care who received vancomycin for at least 5 days. Patients were divided into two groups: before and after a protocol implemented in 2017 that suggested an initial vancomycin dose of 60 mg/kg/day, target serum levels of 15-20 μg/mL, and dose adjustments. We compared patient characteristics, target serum level achievement, and vancomycin levels over time.
RESULTS: Each group contained 65 patients; most were male infants with heart disease as the main reason for hospitalization. Only 29.2% of the patients had pretreatment cultures for bacteria identification recorded, with 1.5% identified as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. For the first serum levels, 10.8% of patients in the pre-protocol group and 21.5% in the post-protocol group achieved the 15-20 μg/mL target (p = 0.153); during the first 5 days of treatment, this proportion significantly increased from 52.3 to 73.8% (p = 0.018). We observed a difference between the first and fifth levels: 8.9 μg/mL (95% confidence interval [CI] - 3.1 to 21) pre-protocol and 0.4 μg/mL (95% CI - 6.1 to 6.9) post-protocol (p = 0.175).
CONCLUSIONS: Reaching adequate trough vancomycin concentrations in critically ill pediatric patients remains a challenge, and clinical practice protocols allow better dose adjustment and control even when monitoring technologies are unavailable.