Previous section Previous topic Next topic Next section Topic quiz References
Section 2 - Applied Pharmacokinetics

Vancomycin dosage calculation

Choosing a model

Initial dosing

    If a one-compartment model is utilized, the methodology is identical to that used for aminoglycoside dosing. But because we are attempting to fit a 2-compartment drug into a 1-compartment model, it is akin to forcing a square peg into a round hole. As a result, hybrids values are utilized for the pk parameters, hence they don't match up exactly with what you may read in the published literature.

    1. Determine elimination rate (Kel)

      Kel = 0.009 + (CLcr x 0.0022)


        CLcr = creatinine clearance

    2. Determine Volume of distribution (Vd)
      Vd varies considerably between patients, the "normal" range is 0.4 to 0.9 L/kg. This disparity in reported Vd is the main reason why vancomycin serum concentrations and dosage requirements are so unpredictable.

      Vd = DW x Vdperkg


        DW = dosing weight
        Vdperkg = 0.5 liters/kg

    3. Determine ideal dosing interval (tau)

      tau = tinf + [ln(Cptmax / Cptmin) / Kel]


        tinf = infusion length
        Cptmax = Target peak, 30 mcg/ml.
        Cptmin = Target trough, 5 mcg/ml.

    4. Determine ideal maintenance doses

      MD = Kel x Vd x Cptmax x (1 - e-Kel x tau / 1 - e-Kel x tinf)


        tinf = infusion length
        Cptmax = Target peak
        tau = ideal dosing interval

    5. Select a practical dosage and interval
      • Choose practical, convenient doses and administration schedules.
      • Odd doses and schedules may lead to errors in administration.
      • A general rule of thumb is to round Vancomycin doses to the nearest 250mg.

    Two-compartment equations are quite complex and are presented here only for completeness. As stated earlier, this model is based on Lake and Peterson's data and works well if you give small doses, more frequently. However, if your practice standard is to give large doses less often, then the 1-compartment model may be a better choice.

    1. Determine clearance (CL)
      Clearance is estimated from a Dettli plot of CLcr vs Vanco CL. Because Clearance includes a volume term, it must be normalized to a population average weight.

      CL = [0.17 + (CLcr x 0.06)] x (DW / 70)


        CLcr = creatinine clearance

    2. Determine dosing interval (tau)
      The drawback to a 2-compartment model is that it does not provide a ready means of calculating a dosing interval. The equation below approximates the intervals recommended by Lake and Peterson's nomogram:

      Creatinine Clearance Dosing interval
      >90 6 hours
      70-89 8 hours
      46-69 12 hours
      30-45 16 hours
      15-29 24 hours

      tau = 6 x (72 / [(10 * CL) + 1.9])

    3. Determine ideal maintenance dose (k0)
      Note that in this 2-compartment equation, the target trough level drives the dose. This meshes perfectly with the concentration-independent killing property of vancomycin where our goal is to target a trough level which remains above the MIC.

      k0 = 1/{[(k12-kd) (1 - ekd x tinf) ekd x t)] / [Vc x kd (kd-kel) (1 - ekd x tau)] +
      [(kel-k21) (1 - ekel x tinf) ekel x t)] / [Vc x kel (kd-kel) (1 - ekel x tau)]} / 1/CPtarget


      • k0 = infusion rate (mg/hour)
      • tau = dosing interval (hours)
      • tinf = infusion time (hours)
      • t = time at which to predict serum concentration
      • k12 = rate constant for distribution from central to peripheral compartment (1.12 hr -1)
      • k21 = rate constant for distribution from peripheral to central compartment (.42 hr -1)
      • Vc = Volume of central compartment (.205 L/kg)
      • kd (hybrid distribution rate constant) = (k21 x k10)/kel
          k10 = CL/Vc
      • kel (hybrid elimination rate constant) = CL/Vd
          Vd = .65 L/kg
      • CPtarget = Target trough level

1-compartment serum level analysis

    For 1-compartment serum level analysis, Sawchuk and Zaske's method provides a simple way of calculating individualized pk parameters based on peak and trough levels. This is the same method utilized for aminoglycosides.

      Important: the one caveat when using a 1-compartment model for Vancomycin serum level analysis is that you must ensure that SDC's are drawn during the post-distribution elimination phase.

Bayesian analysis

    Bayesian analysis is always utilized to analyze serum levels when using the 2-compartment model, it is optional for the 1-compartment model.

    The Bayesian method uses population-derived pharmacokinetic parameters, Vd and CL, as a starting point and then adjusts those parameters based on the serum level results taking into consideration the variability of the population-derived parameters and the variability of the drug assay procedure.

    The appeal of this approach is that it mimics human thinking. That is, SDC's are interpreted in light of both our expectations from the population model and our knowledge of the variability of the test itself.

    The main advantage of Bayesian analysis is that only one steady-state SDC, preferably a trough, is required to perform an accurate analysis.

Previous section Previous topic Next topic Next section Topic quiz References
Section 2 - Applied Pharmacokinetics