A recent article in November 2009 issue Pharmacotherapy summarizes the recommendations from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Infections Diseases Society of America, and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists on the monitoring of vancomycin in adults.
“The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists published a consensus statement on therapeutic monitoring of serum vancomycin levels in adults. These organizations established an expert panel to review the scientific data and controversies associated with vancomycin monitoring and to make recommendations based on the available evidence. As the members of this panel, we summarize the conclusions and highlight the recommendations from the consensus statement. We determined that the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC):minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ratio is the most useful pharmacodynamic parameter to predict vancomycin effectiveness and suggested a target ratio of 400 or greater to eradicate S. aureus. In addition, trough serum concentration monitoring is the most accurate and practical method to monitor vancomycin serum levels. Increasing trough concentrations to 15–20 mg/L to attain the target AUC:MIC ratio may be desirable but is currently not supported by clinical trials. Alternative therapies should be considered in patients with S. aureus infections that demonstrate a vancomycin MIC of 2 mg/L or greater because the target AUC:MIC ratio ( 400) is unlikely to be achieved in this setting. Increasing the dosage to result in higher trough concentrations may increase the potential for toxicity; however additional clinical experience is required to determine the extent.”
While the article contains nothing new in terms of vancomycin monitoring and kinetics, the recommendation to consider alternate therapy for S. aureus infections with an MIC >/= 2 mg/L is important to note.