Target attainment and population pharmacokinetics of flucloxacillin in critically ill patients: a multicenter study

Crit Care. 2023 Mar 3;27(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04353-5.


Purpose: Insufficient antimicrobial exposure has been associated with worse clinical outcomes. Reportedly, flucloxacillin target attainment in critically ill patients was heterogeneous considering the study population selection and reported target attainment percentages. Therefore, we assessed flucloxacillin population pharmacokinetics (PK) and target attainment in critically ill patients.

Methods: This prospective, multicenter, observational study was conducted from May 2017 to October 2019 and included adult, critically ill patients administered flucloxacillin intravenously. Patients with renal replacement therapy or liver cirrhosis were excluded. We developed and qualified an integrated PK model for total and unbound serum flucloxacillin concentrations. Monte Carlo dosing simulations were performed to assess target attainment. The unbound target serum concentration was four times the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for ≥ 50% of the dosing interval (ƒT>4xMIC ≥ 50%).

Results: We analyzed 163 blood samples from 31 patients. A one-compartment model with linear plasma protein binding was selected as most appropriate. Dosing simulations revealed 26% ƒT>2 mg/L ≥ 50% following continuous infusion of 12 g flucloxacillin and 51% ƒT>2 mg/L ≥ 50% for 24 g.

Conclusion: Based on our dosing simulations, standard flucloxacillin daily doses of up to 12 g may substantially enhance the risk of underdosing in critically ill patients. Prospective validation of these model predictions is needed.

Keywords: Critically ill; Flucloxacillin; Free or unbound concentration; PK/PD target attainment; Pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy*
  • Critical Illness*
  • Floxacillin
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • Floxacillin