Ceftriaxone and methicillin-susceptible staphylococcus aureus: a perspective from pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics studies

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2021 Sep;17(9):1039-1048. doi: 10.1080/17425255.2021.1951221. Epub 2021 Aug 18.


Introduction: Usage of ceftriaxone-based therapy to treat Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections is a controversial issue, from in vitro to clinical studies.Area covered: We conducted a literature review using PubMed of articles with ceftriaxone pharmacokinetics parameters and built a probability of target attainment (PTA) based on PK values from stable conditions (non-critically-ill patients) with goals of fT>55%, fT>75%, and fT>100%. Ceftriaxone's minimal inhibitory concentration from 31 MSSA strains (0.25-64 mg/L) was used to build the cumulative fraction response (CFR). The isolates were clinically relevant from blood, bronchoalveolar lavage, and soft tissue biopsy.Expert opinion: The results from controversies about using ceftriaxone for MSSA infections have been commonly addressed in the literature. However, variables such as (i) pharmacokinetic profile, (ii) pharmacodynamic target, (iii) site of infection, and (iv) MIC distributions may influence divergences. From this pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics perspective, ceftriaxone may be a reasonable option for MSSA infections when the MIC50 and MIC90 were 4 mg/L and 8 mg/L. CFR analysis demonstrated that ceftriaxone 1 g q24 h could be used if bacteriostasis is the aim (fT>55%), while 1 g q12h should be used for bactericidal effects (fT>75% or fT>100%). These dosing regimens should be considered in other clinical trials.

Keywords: Ceftriaxone; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; staphylococcus aureus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Ceftriaxone / administration & dosage*
  • Ceftriaxone / pharmacokinetics
  • Ceftriaxone / pharmacology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Methicillin / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Methicillin