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.
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