Clinical pharmacodynamics of linezolid in seriously ill patients treated in a compassionate use programme

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(15):1411-23. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200342150-00007.


Objective: To characterise the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships for linezolid efficacy.

Design and study population: Retrospective nonblinded analysis of severely debilitated adult patients with numerous comorbid conditions and complicated infections enrolled under the manufacturer's compassionate use programme.

Methods: Patients received intravenous or oral linezolid 600 mg every 12 hours. Plasma concentrations were obtained and a multicompartmental pharmacokinetic model was fitted. Numerical integration of the fitted functions provided the area under the concentration-time curve over 24 hours (AUC), the ratio of AUC to minimum inhibitory concentration (AUC/MIC) and the percentage of time that plasma concentrations exceeded the MIC (%T>MIC).

Main outcome measures: Modelled pharmacodynamic outcomes of efficacy included probabilities of eradication and clinical cure (multifactorial logistic regression, nonparametric tree-based modelling, nonlinear regression) and time to bacterial eradication (Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression). Factors considered included AUC/MIC, %T>MIC, site of infection, bacterial species and MIC, and other medical conditions.

Results: There were 288 cases evaluable by at least one of the efficacy outcomes. Both %T>MIC and AUC/MIC were highly correlated (Spearman r2 = 0.868). In our analyses, within specific infection sites, the probability of eradication and clinical cure appeared to be related to AUC/MIC (eradication: bacteraemia, skin and skin structure infection [SSSI], lower respiratory tract infection [LRTI], bone infection; clinical cure: bacteraemia, LRTI) and %T>MIC (eradication: bacteraemia, SSSI, LRTI; clinical cure: bacteraemia, LRTI). Time to bacterial eradication for bacteraemias appeared to be related to the AUC, %T>MIC and AUC/MIC. For most sites, AUC/MIC and %T>MIC models performed similarly.

Conclusions: Higher success rates for linezolid may occur at AUC/MIC values of 80-120 for bacteraemia, LRTI and SSSI. Chance of success in bacteraemia, LRTI and SSSI also appear to be higher when concentrations remain above the MIC for the entire dosing interval.

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / pharmacokinetics
  • Acetamides / pharmacology
  • Acetamides / therapeutic use*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Linezolid
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxazolidinones / pharmacokinetics
  • Oxazolidinones / pharmacology
  • Oxazolidinones / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Acetamides
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oxazolidinones
  • Linezolid