Application of antimicrobial pharmacodynamic concepts into clinical practice: focus on beta-lactam antibiotics: insights from the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists

Pharmacotherapy. 2006 Sep;26(9):1320-32. doi: 10.1592/phco.26.9.1320.


In recent years there have been tremendous strides in understanding the relationship between the pharmacodynamics of beta-lactams and microbiologic response. For beta-lactams, in vitro and animal studies suggest that the amount of time in which free or non-protein-bound antimicrobial concentration exceeds the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the organism (fT>MIC) is the best predictor of bacterial killing and microbiologic response. Using population pharmacokinetic modeling and Monte Carlo simulation, it is possible to integrate pharmacokinetics, a pharmacodynamic target, and microbiologic surveillance data to generate empiric beta-lactam dosing strategies that maximize the likelihood of achieving fT>MIC associated with near maximal bactericidal effect against the range of pathogens encountered in clinical practice. At Albany Medical Center Hospital, these mathematical modeling techniques were used to devise alternative dosing schemes for piperacillin-tazobactam, meropenem, and cefepime. These alternative schemes optimized fT>MIC at a lower total daily dose than would be employed with traditional dosing methods. Moreover, they achieved the targeted fT>MIC with less administration time/day than would be needed for continuous infusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Societies, Pharmaceutical
  • beta-Lactams / pharmacokinetics*
  • beta-Lactams / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • beta-Lactams