Vancomycin Dosing and Monitoring for Patients With End-Stage Renal Disease Receiving Intermittent Hemodialysis

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2015 Nov 1;72(21):1856-64. doi: 10.2146/ajhp150051.


Purpose: Vancomycin dosing and monitoring algorithms for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving intermittent hemodialysis are reviewed.

Summary: Vancomycin is one of the most commonly administered antimicrobial agents in adult patients with ESRD receiving intermittent hemodialysis. However, despite the availability of many published studies, the single best method of vancomycin administration in this population remains unclear. Many studies evaluating vancomycin dosing in adult patients with ESRD receiving intermittent hemodialysis were limited by a small sample size, inappropriate therapeutic targets, older hemodialysis modalities (e.g., low-flux intermittent hemodialysis), and inconsistencies in the timing of dosing or therapeutic drug monitoring. Pharmacokinetic variables that must be accounted for include a prolonged distribution phase, a redistribution phase and rebound effect after completion of hemodialysis, patient weight, residual renal function, and nonrenal clearance. Optimal vancomycin dosing recommendations are needed, but clinicians should always consider patient-specific variables, the timing of vancomycin administration, the timing of serum vancomycin concentrations, and technical aspects of the dialysis procedure when creating a dosing regimen.

Conclusion: Individualized vancomycin dosing regimens and therapeutic drug monitoring are necessary for patients with ESRD receiving intermittent hemodialysis to ensure that goal serum vancomycin levels are reached to adequately treat an infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin