Use of Monte Carlo simulation to design an optimized pharmacodynamic dosing strategy for meropenem

J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Oct;43(10):1116-23. doi: 10.1177/0091270003257225.


Prolonging the infusion of meropenem over 3 hours increases the percentage of the dosing interval that drug concentrations remain above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), thereby maximizing the pharmacodynamics of this agent and adhering to drug stability constraints. Monte Carlo simulation was employed to determine pharmacodynamic target attainment rates for several prolonged infusion (PI) meropenem dosage regimens as compared with the traditional 30-minute infusion (TI) against Enterobacteriaceae, Acinetobacter species, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations. Percent time above the MIC (%T>MIC) exposures for 1000 mg TI q8h, 2000 mg TI q8h, 500 mg PI q8h, 1000 mg PI q12h, 1000 mg PI q8h, 2000 mg PI q12h, and 2000 mg PI q8h were simulated for 10,000 subjects. Variability in pharmacokinetic parameters and MIC distributions were derived from studies in healthy volunteers and the MYSTIC surveillance program, respectively. The probabilities of attaining bacteriostatic (30% T>MIC) and bactericidal (50% T>MIC) exposures were high for all dosage regimens against populations of Enterobacteriaceae. Against Acinetobacter species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the 2000-mg PI q8h dosage regimen provided the highest target attainment rates. For mild to moderate infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae, prolonged infusion regimens of 500 mg PI q8h and 1000 mg PI q12h would provide equivalent target attainment rates to the traditional 30-minute infusion while requiring less drug over 24 hours. For more serious infections presumably caused by Acinetobacter species or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a dose of 2000 mg PI q8h is recommended because of its high bactericidal target attainment rate against these pathogens. Further study of these dosage recommendations in clinical trials is suggested.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter Infections / drug therapy
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Meropenem
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy
  • Research Design*
  • Thienamycins / administration & dosage
  • Thienamycins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Thienamycins / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Thienamycins
  • Meropenem