Pharmacokinetic changes in critical illness

Crit Care Clin. 2006 Apr;22(2):255-71, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2006.02.011.


Physiologic alterations in critically ill patients can significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of drugs used in the critically ill patient population. Understanding these pharmacokinetic changes is essential relative to optimizing drug therapy. This article outlines the major differences seen in the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs in critically ill patients. Important strategies for drug therapy dosing and monitoring in these patients are also addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Critical Illness*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations