Colistin pharmacokinetics: the fog is lifting

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012 Jan;18(1):30-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2011.03667.x. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Colistin is a re-emerging old antibiotic that is used to treat multidrug-resistant infections in critically ill patients. It corresponds to a mixture of at least 30 different compounds administered as inactive derivatives. Therefore, colistin pharmacokinetics are quite difficult to investigate and complex to predict. However specific chromatographic methods have been made available in recent years, leading to a series of modern pharmacokinetic studies after intravenous administration of the prodrug to critical-care patients; these have been conducted by a few groups and have only been recently published. The objective of this article was to conduct a critical review of these very informative modern pharmacokinetic studies and to provide prospective thoughts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Colistin / administration & dosage
  • Colistin / adverse effects
  • Colistin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Rats


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Colistin