Evaluation of a dosing regimen for continuous vancomycin infusion in critically ill patients: an observational study in intensive care unit patients

J Crit Care. 2014 Jun;29(3):351-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2013.12.007. Epub 2013 Dec 21.


Purpose: We aimed to evaluate a dosing algorithm for continuous vancomycin administration in intensive care unit patients.

Materials and methods: This observational study was conducted in a medical intensive care unit (German university hospital; June 2012-February 2013). Following a loading dose of 20 mg per kg actual body weight, vancomycin was administered continuously (20 or 30 mg of vancomycin per kg actual body weight over 24 hours depending on renal function). The vancomycin infusion rate was adjusted to achieve a target serum vancomycin concentration of 20-30 mg/L.

Results: Vancomycin was administered for a median (interquartile range) of 7 (5-9) days. The median vancomycin dose given as an initial bolus was 1750 (1400-2000) mg. The median daily vancomycin dose ranged from 480 (180-960) mg (day 6) to 3.120 (2596-3980) mg (day 1). Altogether, the achieved median serum vancomycin concentration was 29.0 (25.2-33.2) mg/L. On treatment days 1 to 7, we observed target serum vancomycin levels (20-30 mg/L) in 48%, 39%, 33%, 26%, 43%, 57%, and 69% of patients. Supra-therapeutic serum vancomycin concentrations (>30 mg/L) were observed in 36%, 52%, 61%, 63%, 39%, 19%, and 15% of patients on treatment days 1 to 7.

Conclusions: The evaluated vancomycin dosing regimen for continuous infusion allowed rapid achievement of sufficient vancomycin serum levels. However, we frequently observed supra-therapeutic serum vancomycin concentrations in the first days of vancomycin treatment.

Keywords: Continuous infusion; Critical care; Intensive care unit; Therapeutic drug monitoring; Vancomycin.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / blood
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Critical Illness*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Vancomycin / blood


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin