Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Can Improve Linezolid Dosing Regimens in Current Clinical Practice: A Review of Linezolid Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Ther Drug Monit. 2020 Feb;42(1):83-92. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0000000000000710.


Linezolid is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by drug-resistant gram-positive organisms, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, multi-drug resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The adverse effects of linezolid can include thrombocytopenia and neuropathy, which are more prevalent with higher exposures and longer treatment durations. Although linezolid is traditionally administered at a standard 600 mg dose every 12 hours, the resulting exposure can vary greatly between patients and can lead to treatment failure or toxicity. The efficacy and toxicity of linezolid are determined by the exposure achieved in the patient; numerous clinical and population pharmacokinetics (popPK) studies have identified threshold measurements for both parameters. Several special populations with an increased need for linezolid dose adjustments have also been identified. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) is a clinical strategy that assesses the response of an individual patient and helps adjust the dosing regimen to maximize efficacy while minimizing toxicity. Adaptive feedback control and model-informed precision dosing are additional strategies that use Bayesian algorithms and PK models to predict patient-specific drug exposure. TDM is a very useful tool for patient populations with sparse clinical data or known alterations in pharmacokinetics, including children, patients with renal insufficiency or those receiving renal replacement therapy, and patients taking co-medications known to interact with linezolid. As part of the clinical workflow, clinicians can use TDM with the thresholds summarized from the current literature to improve linezolid dosing for patients and maximize the probability of treatment success.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Drug Dosage Calculations
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Linezolid / administration & dosage
  • Linezolid / adverse effects
  • Linezolid / pharmacokinetics
  • Linezolid / pharmacology*
  • Liver Failure / metabolism
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Models, Biological
  • Pediatrics
  • Renal Insufficiency / metabolism
  • Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Tuberculosis / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Linezolid