Population pharmacokinetics of meropenem administered as a prolonged infusion in children with cystic fibrosis

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 Jan;71(1):189-95. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkv289. Epub 2015 Sep 27.


Objectives: Meropenem is frequently used to treat pulmonary exacerbations in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) in the USA. Prolonged-infusion meropenem improves the time that free drug concentrations remain above the MIC (fT> MIC) in adults, but data in CF children are sparse. We describe the population pharmacokinetics, tolerability and treatment burden of prolonged-infusion meropenem in CF children.

Methods: Thirty children aged 6-17 years with a pulmonary exacerbation received 40 mg/kg meropenem every 8 h; each dose was administered as a 3 h infusion. Pharmacokinetics were determined using population methods in Pmetrics. Monte Carlo simulation was employed to compare 0.5 with 3 h infusions to estimate the probability of pharmacodynamic target attainment (PTA) at 40% fT> MIC. NCT#01429259.

Results: A two-compartment model fitted the data best with clearance and volume predicted by body weight. Clearance and volume of the central compartment were 0.41 ± 0.23 L/h/kg and 0.30 ± 0.17 L/kg, respectively. Half-life was 1.11 ± 0.38 h. At MICs of 1, 2 and 4 mg/L, PTAs for the 0.5 h infusion were 87.6%, 70.1% and 35.4%, respectively. The prolonged infusion increased PTAs to >99% for these MICs and achieved 82.8% at 8 mg/L. Of the 30 children, 18 (60%) completed treatment with prolonged infusion; 5 did so at home without any reported burden. Nine patients were changed to a 0.5 h infusion when discharged home.

Conclusions: In these CF children, meropenem clearance was greater compared with published values from non-CF children. Prolonged infusion provided an exposure benefit against pathogens with MICs ≥1 mg/L, was well tolerated and was feasible to administer in the hospital and home settings, the latter depending on perception and family schedule.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01429259.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Meropenem
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thienamycins / administration & dosage*
  • Thienamycins / adverse effects
  • Thienamycins / pharmacokinetics*
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Thienamycins
  • Meropenem

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01429259