Pharmacokinetics of intravenously and intramuscularly administered cefepime in infants and children

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1997 Aug;41(8):1783-7. doi: 10.1128/AAC.41.8.1783.


The pharmacokinetic characteristics of cefepime were determined after first dose (n = 35) and again under steady-state conditions (n = 31) with a group of 37 infants and children. In eight subjects, a cefepime dose given by intramuscular injection was substituted for an intravenous dose, and disposition characteristics were studied again. Study subjects ranged in age from 2.1 months to 16.4 years, and all had normal renal function. Each patient received 50 mg of cefepime/kg of body weight intravenously every 8 h, up to a total maximum individual dose of 2 g. With the exception of one study patient who received a single cefepime dose for surgical prophylaxis, the patients received cefepime for 2 to 13 days. Elimination half-life (t1/2), steady-state volume of distribution, total body clearance, and renal clearance after first dose administration averaged 1.7 h, 0.35 liter/kg, and 3.1 and 1.9 ml/min/kg, respectively. Although cefepime t1/2 and mean residence time (MRT) were slightly longer for subjects <6 months of age than for older subjects, no differences in cefepime disposition characteristics between first dose and steady-state evaluations were observed. t1/2 (1.8 versus 1.9 h) and MRT (2.3 versus 3.2 h) were slightly prolonged after intramuscular administration, reflecting the influence of absorption from the intramuscular injection site on cefepime elimination. Bioavailability after intramuscular administration averaged 82% (range, 61 to 124%). Fifty-seven percent of the first dose and 88.9% of the last dose were recovered as unchanged drug in urine over the 8- and 24-h sampling periods, respectively. These pharmacokinetic data support a single cefepime dosing strategy for patients > or =2 months of age. The integration of the cefepime pharmacokinetic data generated in our study with the MICs for important pathogens responsible for infections in infants and children supports the administration of a dose of 50 mg of cefepime/kg every 12 h for patients > or =2 months of age to treat infections caused by pathogens for which cefepime MICs are < or =8 mg/liter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Cefepime
  • Cephalosporins / administration & dosage
  • Cephalosporins / blood
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male


  • Cephalosporins
  • Cefepime