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Objectives: Meropenem is frequently used to treat pulmonary exacerbations in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) in the USA. Prolonged-infusion meropenem improves the time that free drug concentrations remain above the MIC (fT>MIC) in adults, but data in CF children are sparse. We describe the population pharmacokinetics, tolerability and treatment burden of prolonged-infusion meropenem in CF children.

Methods: Thirty children aged 6–17 years with a pulmonary exacerbation received 40 mg/kg meropenem every 8 h; each dose was administered as a 3 h infusion. Pharmacokinetics were determined using population methods in Pmetrics. Monte Carlo simulation was employed to compare 0.5 with 3 h infusions to estimate the probability of pharmacodynamic target attainment (PTA) at 40% fT>MIC. NCT#01429259.

Results: A two-compartment model fitted the data best with clearance and volume predicted by body weight. Clearance and volume of the central compartment were 0.41 ± 0.23 L/h/kg and 0.30 ± 0.17 L/kg, respectively. Half-life was 1.11 ± 0.38 h. At MICs of 1, 2 and 4 mg/L, PTAs for the 0.5 h infusion were 87.6%, 70.1% and 35.4%, respectively. The prolonged infusion increased PTAs to >99% for these MICs and achieved 82.8% at 8 mg/L. Of the 30 children, 18 (60%) completed treatment with prolonged infusion; 5 did so at home without any reported burden. Nine patients were changed to a 0.5 h infusion when discharged home.

Conclusions: In these CF children, meropenem clearance was greater compared with published values from non-CF children. Prolonged infusion provided an exposure benefit against pathogens with MICs ≥1 mg/L, was well tolerated and was feasible to administer in the hospital and home settings, the latter depending on perception and family schedule.


Pettit, R.S., Neu, N., Cies, J.J., Lapin, C., Muhlebach, M.S., Novak, K.J., Nguyen, S.T., Saiman, L., Nicolau, D.P. and Kuti, J.L. (2016) Population pharmacokinetics of meropenem administered as a prolonged infusion in children with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 71(1), p.189-195.

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