Population Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Piperacillin-Tazobactam Extended Infusions in Infants and Children

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019 Oct 22;63(11):e01260-19. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01260-19. Print 2019 Nov.


Piperacillin-tazobactam (TZP) is frequently used to treat severe hospital-acquired infections in children. We performed a single-center, pharmacokinetic (PK) trial of TZP in children ranging in age from 2 months to 6 years from various clinical subpopulations. Children who were on TZP per the standard of care were prospectively included and assigned to receive a dose of 80 mg/kg of body weight every 6 h infused over 2 h (ages 2 to 5 months) or a dose of 90 mg/kg every 8 h infused over 4 h (ages 6 months to 6 years). Separate population PK models were developed for piperacillin and tazobactam using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. Optimal dosing was judged based on the ability to maintain free piperacillin concentrations above the piperacillin MIC for enterobacteria and Pseudomonas aeruginosa for ≥50% of the dosing interval. Any untoward event occurring during treatment was collected as an adverse event. A total of 79 children contributed 174 PK samples. The median (range) age and weight were 1.7 years (2 months to 6 years) and 11.4 kg (3.8 to 27.6 kg), respectively. A 2-compartment model with first-order elimination best described the piperacillin and tazobactam data. Both final population PK models included weight and concomitant furosemide administration on clearance and weight on the volume of distribution of the central compartment. The optimal dosing regimens in children with normal renal function, based on the piperacillin component, were 75 mg/kg/dose every 4 h infused over 0.5 h in infants ages 2 to ≤6 months and 130 mg/kg/dose every 8 h infused over 4 h in children ages >6 months to 6 years against bacteria with MICs up to 16 mg/liter. A total of 44 children (49%) had ≥1 adverse event, with 3 of these (site infiltrations) considered definitely associated with the extended infusions.

Keywords: children; pediatrics; pharmacokinetics; piperacillin-tazobactam; population pharmacokinetics; sepsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods
  • Piperacillin / adverse effects*
  • Piperacillin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Piperacillin / therapeutic use
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination / adverse effects*
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination / pharmacokinetics*
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Tazobactam / adverse effects*
  • Tazobactam / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tazobactam / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Piperacillin, Tazobactam Drug Combination
  • Tazobactam
  • Piperacillin

Grants and funding