Cefepime. Pharmacokinetics and clinical response in patients with cystic fibrosis

Am J Dis Child. 1992 Jul;146(7):797-802. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160190029013.


Objective: To measure first-dose and steady-state plasma, urine, and sputum concentrations of cefepime and make preliminary assessments of the clinical efficacy of cefepime in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Design: Open noncomparative clinical trial.

Setting: Memorial Miller Children's Hospital of Long Beach, Calif.

Participants: Twelve patients, aged 4 to 41 years, with a confirmed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and chronic bronchopulmonary infections.

Interventions: Patients received cefepime at 50 mg/kg per dose (maximum dose, 2 g per dose) given intravenously every 8 hours. Clinical evaluations, pulmonary function tests, quantitative sputum cultures, and sensitivity testing were performed before, at the end of, and 2 weeks after therapy.

Measurements and main results: Mean (+/- SD) peak plasma concentrations after the first dose were 148.2 (36.6) mg/L; the following other values were included: half-life, 1.59 (0.46) hours; area under the curve, 292 (94) microgram/h per milliliter; total-body clearance, 3.01 (1.46) mL/min per kilogram; volume of distribution at steady state, 0.32 (0.10) L/kg; and percent of dose recovered in urine, 52% (27%). Steady-state and first-dose values were similar. Trough levels varied from 6.4 to 7.2 mg/L. Mean (+/- SD) sputum concentrations at steady state varied from 6.3 (5.4) to 4.8 (2.3) mg/L. At completion of therapy, nine of 10 patients' conditions were improved as indicated by clinical scores (greater than 10 points), forced vital capacity (greater than 10%), and a greater than or equal to 1 log decrease in sputum bacterial concentration. Cefepime was well tolerated in 10 patients, but rash and light-headedness developed in two patients. Pseudomonas aeruginosa minimum inhibitory concentration90 increased from the start (64 mg/L) to the end of therapy (256 mg/L) and was unchanged 2 weeks later.

Conclusion: Based on these data and the potential advantage of a single agent for the treatment of mixed infections (Staphylococcus aureus and P aeruginosa), comparative clinical trials of cefepime and standard therapy for bronchopulmonary exacerbations in patients with cystic fibrosis appear to be warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California
  • Cefepime
  • Cephalosporins / administration & dosage
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cephalosporins / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Vital Capacity


  • Cephalosporins
  • Cefepime