Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of extended-infusion piperacillin/tazobactam in adult patients with cystic fibrosis-related acute pulmonary exacerbations

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Jan;69(1):176-9. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt300. Epub 2013 Jul 18.


Objectives: Given the high frequency of acute pulmonary exacerbations due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), piperacillin/tazobactam is commonly used in empirical regimens. While extended-infusion piperacillin/tazobactam has been employed as one strategy to optimize this agent's pharmacodynamics, this approach has not been well characterized in patients with CF. The objectives of this study were to characterize the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of extended-infusion piperacillin/tazobactam in adult patients with CF and derive optimized piperacillin/tazobactam dosing recommendations.

Methods: Six serum samples were collected from nine adult patients with CF hospitalized for acute pulmonary exacerbations who received 3/0.375 g of piperacillin/tazobactam intravenously for 4 h every 8 h. Population pharmacokinetic models were fitted to the data utilizing first-order, Michaelis-Menten (MM) and parallel first-order/MM clearance. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to determine the probability of target attainment (PTA) for regimens where free piperacillin concentrations were above the MIC for at least 50% of the dosing interval.

Results: The model incorporating MM clearance best described the data. Results of our simulation revealed that piperacillin/tazobactam dosed at 3-4 g for 30 min every 6-8 h led to <90% PTA against MIC values >4 mg/L. More intensive prolonged infusion regimens than are commonly used in practice, such as continuous infusions or 3 h infusions every 6 h, were needed to maximize the PTA for MICs ≥ 8 mg/L.

Conclusions: Intensive prolonged infusion regimens are the best option to ensure optimal exposures against most susceptible isolates in adult patients with CF.

Keywords: Monte Carlo simulation; continuous infusions; prolonged infusions; β-lactams.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / methods
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillanic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Penicillanic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Penicillanic Acid / pharmacokinetics
  • Penicillanic Acid / pharmacology
  • Piperacillin / administration & dosage
  • Piperacillin / pharmacokinetics
  • Piperacillin / pharmacology
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Serum / chemistry
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination
  • Penicillanic Acid
  • Piperacillin