Vancomycin dosing in children: what is the question?
- Department of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
- Correspondence to Dr Theresa S Cole, Department of infectious disease and immunology, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Eaton Road, West Derby, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK;
- Received 1 July 2013
- Revised 28 July 2013
- Accepted 30 July 2013
- Published Online First 16 August 2013
Vancomycin has been in clinical use for over 60 years, but it is still not clear what dose should be given to children. Effective treatment with vancomycin requires a serum concentration well above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the bacteria being treated. This is predicted by the area under the concentration curve (AUC) divided by the MIC being >400 (AUC/MIC). Recent concerns about increasing MIC in staphylococci have lead to recommendations to aim for higher trough vancomycin levels (15–20 mg/L). In current practice, most children do not achieve these trough levels. Modelling and pharmacokinetic studies in children suggest these trough levels may not be necessary if the MIC of the organisms is 1 mg/L or less. Further, large-scale studies are needed to determine the most appropriate dosing of vancomycin in children. While awaiting these, it is time to consider moving to 15 mg/kg 6 h as a standard starting regime for vancomycin. It is also vital to determine the MIC of the organism being treated, as this may give some guidance about suitable trough levels to be aimed for. There is currently little evidence to guide the use of loading doses or continuous vancomycin infusions in children.