Current use of aminoglycosides: Indications, pharmacokinetics and monitoring for toxicity

M. L. Avent, B. A. Rogers, A. C. Cheng, D. L. Paterson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The new Australian Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic, version 14 have revised the recommendations for the use and monitoring of aminoglycosides. The guidelines have clear distinctions between empirical and directed therapy as well as revised recommendations about the monitoring of aminoglycosides. This has led many clinicians to review their current practice with regard to the use of aminoglycosides. This review summarizes why aminoglycosides are still a valid treatment option and discusses the rationale for current dosing regimens in Gram-negative infections. In particular it focuses on the various methods for monitoring aminoglycosides that are currently being used. The aminoglycoside monitoring methods can be categorized into three groups: linear regression analysis (one compartment model), population methods and Bayesian estimation procedures. Although the population methods are easy to use and require minimal resources they can recommend clinically inappropriate doses as they have constant pharmacokinetic parameters and are not valid in special population groups, that is, renal impairment. The linear regression and Bayesian methods recommend more accurate dosage regimens; however, they require additional resources, such as information technology and healthcare personnel with background training in pharmacokinetics. The Bayesian methods offer additional advantages, such as calculation of doses based on a single serum concentration and optimization of the patient's previous pharmacokinetic data, in order to determine subsequent dosage regimens. We recommend the Bayesian estimation procedures be used, wherever feasible. However, they require the expertise of healthcare practitioners with a good understanding of pharmacokinetic principles, such as clinical pharmacists/clinical pharmacologists, in order to make appropriate recommendations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)441-449
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternal Medicine Journal
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2011


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