The emergence of MDR-TB and XDR-TB has complicated TB treatment success. Among many factors that contribute to the development of resistance, low drug exposure is not the least important. This review summarizes the available information on pharmacokinetic properties of levofloxacin in relation to microbial susceptibilities, in order to optimize the dose and make general treatment recommendations. A total of 37 studies on adult (32 studies) and paediatric (5 studies) MDR-TB patients were included. Among the 32 adult studies, 19 were on susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates to levofloxacin by MIC, 1 was on susceptibility of M. tuberculosis isolates to levofloxacin by MBC, 1 was on susceptibility of M. tuberculosis isolates to levofloxacin by mutant prevention concentration and 4 were on pharmacokinetics of levofloxacin, and 7 others were included. Likewise, out of five studies on children, two dealt with levofloxacin pharmacokinetic parameters, one reviewed CSF concentrations and two dealt with background information. In adult MDR-TB patients, standard dosing of once-daily 1000 mg levofloxacin in TB treatment did not consistently attain the target concentration (i.e. fAUC/MIC >100 and fAUC/MBC >100) in 80% of the patients with MIC and MBC of 1 mg/L, leaving them at risk of developing drug resistance. However, with an MIC of 0.5 mg/L, 100% of the patients achieved the target concentration. Similarly, paediatric patients failed consistently in achieving given pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic targets due to age-related differences, demanding a shift towards once daily dosing of 15-20 mg/kg. Therefore, we recommend therapeutic drug monitoring for patients with strains having MICs of ≥0.5 mg/L and suggest revising the cut-off value from 2 to 1 mg/L.
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