Population Pharmacokinetics and Dosing Optimization of Linezolid in Pediatric Patients

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019 Mar 27;63(4):e02387-18. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02387-18. Print 2019 Apr.


Linezolid is a synthetic antibiotic very effective in the treatment of infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens. Although the clinical application of linezolid in children has increased progressively, data on linezolid pharmacokinetics in pediatric patients are very limited. The aim of this study was to develop a population pharmacokinetic model for linezolid in children and optimize the dosing strategy in order to improve therapeutic efficacy. We performed a prospective pharmacokinetic study of pediatric patients aged 0 to 12 years. The population pharmacokinetic model was developed using the NONMEM program. Goodness-of-fit plots, nonparametric bootstrap analysis, normalized prediction distribution errors, and a visual predictive check were employed to evaluate the final model. The dosing regimen was optimized based on the final model. The pharmacokinetic data from 112 pediatric patients ages 0.03 to 11.9 years were analyzed. The pharmacokinetics could best be described by a one-compartment model with first-order elimination along with body weight and the estimated glomerular filtration rate as significant covariates. Simulations demonstrated that the currently approved dosage of 10 mg/kg of body weight every 8 h (q8h) would lead to a high risk of underdosing for children in the presence of bacteria with MICs of ≥2 mg/liter. To reach the pharmacokinetic target, an elevated dosage of 15 or 20 mg/kg q8h may be required for them. The population pharmacokinetics of linezolid were characterized in pediatric patients, and simulations provide an evidence-based approach for linezolid dosage individualization.

Keywords: children; dosing; linezolid; pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linezolid / administration & dosage*
  • Linezolid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Linezolid