The optimum dosage regimen for cotrimoxazole in the treatment of life threatening infections due to susceptible organisms encountered in critically ill patients is unclear despite decades of the drug's use. Therapeutic drug monitoring to determine the appropriate dosing for successful infection eradication is not widely available. The clinician must utilize published pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and effective inhibitory concentration information to determine potential dosing regimens for individual patients when treating specific pathogens. Using minimum inhibitory concentrations known to successfully block growth for target pathogens, the pharmacokinetics of both trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole can be utilized to establish empiric dosing regimens for critically ill patients while considering organ of clearance impairment. The author's recommendations for appropriate dosing regimens are forwarded based on these parameters.
Keywords: Cotrimoxazole; Pharmacodynamics; Pharmacokinetics; Sulfamethoxazole; Trimethoprim.