Recent changes in vancomycin use in renal failure

Kidney Int. 2010 May;77(9):760-4. doi: 10.1038/ki.2010.35. Epub 2010 Feb 24.


Vancomycin is a key tool in the treatment of serious Gram-positive infections. A progressive increase in vancomycin resistance with consequent treatment failure has been observed in staphylococci. Therefore, new dosing guidelines advocating much higher vancomycin doses have been issued. Target trough levels of 15-20 microg/ml are proposed. Whether and how these targets can be achieved in patients with chronic kidney disease or those on dialysis are still under evaluation. The higher vancomycin doses to achieve these treatment targets carry a substantial risk for nephrotoxicity. This risk is incremental with higher trough levels and longer duration of vancomycin use. Critically ill patients, patients receiving concomitant nephrotoxic agents, and patients with already compromised renal function are particularly at risk for vancomycin-induced nephrotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / chemically induced
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Insufficiency / chemically induced
  • Renal Insufficiency / drug therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / chemically induced
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / chemically induced
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcus
  • Vancomycin Resistance
  • Vancomycin* / administration & dosage
  • Vancomycin* / adverse effects
  • Vancomycin* / therapeutic use


  • Vancomycin