Comparison of 3 vancomycin dosage regimens during hemodialysis with cellulose triacetate dialyzers: post-dialysis versus intradialytic administration

Clin Nephrol. 2003 Aug;60(2):96-104. doi: 10.5414/cnp60096.


Aims: Traditionally, vancomycin is administered following dialysis to minimize drug loss when high-flux membranes are employed. Unfortunately, this approach is extremely inconvenient for patients and staff, requiring the patients to remain in the unit for at least 1 hour following dialysis. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of administering vancomycin during hemodialysis. Specifically, this study was designed to compare the pharmacokinetics of vancomycin when administered during the last 1-2 hours of dialysis (i.e. intra-dialytic administration) to that administered after completion of dialysis.

Materials and methods: In a randomized, 3-way crossover trial, the pharmacokinetics of vancomycin were evaluated in 9 hemodialysis patients, comparing vancomycin 15 mg/kg following dialysis (Phase I), vancomycin 15 mg/kg during the last hour of hemodialysis (Phase II) or vancomycin 30 mg/kg during the last 2 hours of hemodialysis (Phase III). Vancomycin plasma concentrations were obtained over an 8-day period and subsequent comparisons between the treatment approaches were made with paired t-tests or ANOVA, as appropriate. Dialysate vancomycin concentrations determined on Day 1 and Day 3 of Phases II and III were used to calculate the fraction of vancomycin dose removed, and were compared to plasma data using paired t-tests.

Results: Vancomycin was significantly removed (33.4 to 39.5%) during a 3- to 4-hour high-flux dialysis session occurring on Day 3 after vancomycin administration. Mean serum concentrations immediately following intradialytic vancomycin administration of 15 mg/kg over the last hour of dialysis or 30 mg/kg over the last 2 hours of dialysis were initially high (77.7 and 95.5 mcg/ml respectively), but fell to 25.9 and 40.5 mcg/ml, respectively, by 4 hours post-dialysis. Predialysis concentrations on Days 3, 5 and 8 were similar for vancomycin 30 mg/kg administered over the last 2 hours of dialysis as compared with a 15 mg/kg dose given after dialysis. Vancomycin 15 mg/kg over the last hour of dialysis resulted in significantly lower subsequent predialysis concentrations than the other dosing schemes.

Conclusions: Vancomycin administration of 30 mg/kg over the last 2 hours of dialysis achieves serum concentrations similar to conventional dosing of 15 mg/kg after dialysis and would allow dosing on a weekly basis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Cellulose* / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Time Factors
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Vancomycin / pharmacokinetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Vancomycin
  • Cellulose
  • cellulose triacetate