Population pharmacokinetics of Polymyxin B in acutely Ill adult patients

Cristina Miglis, Nathaniel J. Rhodes, Sean N. Avedissian, Christine J. Kubin, Michael T. Yin, Brian C. Nelson, Manjunath P. Pai, Marc H. Scheetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Polymyxin B (PB) has reemerged as a common treatment against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. However, nephrotoxicity remains a significant dose-limiting side effect, and contemporary pharmacokinetic (PK) data are limited. This study sought to evaluate PB exposure differences in various loading and nonloading strategies according to total body weight (TBW) and adjusted body weight (ABW). Patients treated with PB had plasma samples obtained for clinical care and analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Compartmental PK models with linear and allometric scaling of TBW were explored. Semiparametric Monte Carlo simulation evaluated the total (i.e., protein bound plus unbound) area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC total ) during the first 24 h of therapy and at 96 h posttherapy for each regimen at the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles of TBW and ABW in the derivation cohort. Literature-based values of the 24-h total AUC/MIC ratio (AUC/MIC total ) of 50 defined efficacy, and literature-based values of the 72- to 96-h AUC total of 100 g · h/ml defined toxicity. Fifty-two patients contributed 156 PB plasma samples. A two-compartment model with allometric scaling of TBW produced a comparable fit (Akaike information criterion [AIC] 376.7) to that achieved with linear scaling (AIC 378). The regimen of a loading dose of 2.5 mg/kg of body weight plus a fixed dose of 100 mg every 12 h had the highest probability of achieving a 24-h AUC/MIC total of 50 with the lowest probability of toxicity in all groups at 24 h, aside from those with the lowest 10th percentile of body weight. This is the first study to suggest that a weight-based loading and fixed maintenance (i.e., weight-independent) dosing strategy for polymyxin B may maximize efficacy while balancing toxicity concerns for most patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01475-17
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Polymyxin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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