Pharmacokinetics of piperacillin and tazobactam in critically Ill patients treated with continuous kidney replacement therapy: A mini-review and population pharmacokinetic analysis

Daniel J. Selig*, Jesse P. DeLuca, Kevin K. Chung, Kaitlin A. Pruskowski, Jeffrey R. Livezey, Robert J. Nadeau, Elaine D. Por, Kevin S. Akers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


What is known and objective: Timely and appropriate dosing of antibiotics is essential for the treatment of bacterial sepsis. Critically ill patients treated with continuous kidney replacement therapy (CKRT) often have physiologic derangements that affect pharmacokinetics (PK) of antibiotics and dosing may be challenging. We sought to aggregate previously published piperacillin and tazobactam (pip-tazo) pharmacokinetic data in critically ill patients undergoing CKRT to better understand pharmacokinetics of pip-tazo in this population and better inform dosing. Methods: The National Library of Medicine Database was searched for original research containing piperacillin or tazobactam clearance (CL) or volume of distribution (V) estimates in patients treated with CKRT. The search yielded 77 articles, of which 26 reported suitable estimates of CL or V. Of the 26 articles, 10 for piperacillin and 8 for tazobactam had complete information suitable for population pharmacokinetic modelling. Also included in the analysis was piperacillin and tazobactam PK data from 4 critically ill patients treated with CKRT in the Military Health System, 2 with burn and 2 without burn. Results and Discussion: Median and range of literature reported PK parameters for piperacillin (CL 2.76 L/hr, 1.4–7.92 L/hr, V 31.2 L, 16.77–42.27 L) and tazobactam (CL 2.34 L/hr, 0.72–5.2 L/hr, V 36.6 L, 26.2–58.87 L) were highly consistent with population estimates (piperacillin CL 2.7 L/hr, 95%CI 1.99–3.41 L/hr, V 25.83 22.07–29.59 L, tazobactam CL 2.49 L/hr, 95%CI 1.55–3.44, V 30.62 95%CI 23.7–37.54). The proportion of patients meeting pre-defined pharmacodynamic (PD) targets (median 88.7, range 71%–100%) was high despite significant mortality (median 44%, range 35%–60%). High mortality was predicted by baseline severity of illness (median APACHE II score 23, range 21–33.25). Choice of lenient or strict PD targets (ie 100%fT >MIC or 100%fT >4XMIC) had the largest impact on probability of target attainment (PTA), whereas presence or intensity of CKRT had minimal impact on PTA. What is new and conclusion: Pip-tazo overexposure may be associated with increased mortality, although this is confounded by baseline severity of illness. Achieving adequate pip-tazo exposure is essential; however, risk of harm from overexposure should be considered when choosing a PD target and dose. If lenient PD targets are desired, doses of 2250–3375 mg every 6 h are reasonable for most patients receiving CKRT. However, if a strict PD target is desired, continuous infusion (at least 9000–13500 mg per day) may be required. However, some critically ill CKRT populations may need higher or lower doses and dosing strategies should be tailored to individuals based on all available clinical data including the specific critical care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1102
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • continuous kidney replacement therapy
  • critical illness
  • pharmacokinetics
  • piperacillin
  • tazobactam


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