Beta-Lactam Dose Optimisation in the Intensive Care Unit: Targets, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Toxicity

Amy Legg, Sinead Carmichael, Ming G. Chai, Jason A. Roberts, Menino O. Cotta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Beta-lactams are an important family of antibiotics used to treat infections and are commonly used in critically ill patients. Optimal use of these drugs in the intensive care unit (ICU) is important because of the serious complications from sepsis. Target beta-lactam antibiotic exposures may be chosen using fundamental principles of beta-lactam activity derived from pre-clinical and clinical studies, although the debate regarding optimal beta-lactam exposure targets is ongoing. Attainment of target exposures in the ICU requires overcoming significant pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) challenges. For beta-lactam drugs, the use of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to confirm if the desired exposure targets are achieved has shown promise, but further data are required to determine if improvement in infection-related outcomes can be achieved. Additionally, beta-lactam TDM may be useful where a relationship exists between supratherapeutic antibiotic exposure and drug adverse effects. An ideal beta-lactam TDM service should endeavor to efficiently sample and report results in identified at-risk patients in a timely manner. Consensus beta-lactam PK/PD targets associated with optimal patient outcomes are lacking and should be a focus for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number870
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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