Neonatal vancomycin continuous infusion: Still a confusion?

Amanda Gwee, Noel Cranswick, David Metz, Benjamin Coghlan, Andrew J. Daley, Penelope A. Bryant, Nigel Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Continuous infusions of vancomycin over 24 hours have been shown in adults to reduce drug toxicity, lower treatment costs and require fewer blood samples for therapeutic drug monitoring. They may also improve clinical outcome through earlier attainment of target drug concentrations. In neonates, there is no consensus on vancomycin dosing. We reviewed the literature to assess the evidence for vancomycin dosing regimens for continuous infusion in neonates. METHODS: Medline and Embase were searched for studies about continuous vancomycin dosing regimens in neonates that reported serum drug concentrations. The search identified 469 articles, of which 5 were relevant. RESULTS: Five prospective studies were included; 2 studies used non-linear mixed effects modeling. Vancomycin was administered with parenteral nutrition or 5% dextrose. Target serum concentrations varied (range: 10-30 mg/L). Four studies used loading doses before continuous infusion; only 1 documented achievement of therapeutic concentrations after the load. The time to a therapeutic concentration was not reported for the other studies. Attainment of target concentrations ranged from 56% to 89% of measurements. Only 1 study compared intermittent to continuous infusions, reporting higher attainment of target concentrations with continuous dosing (82% vs. 46%). No adverse effects were reported, although 3 neonates developed a reversible raised serum creatinine in the setting of septicemia. CONCLUSION: Continuous infusions of vancomycin in neonates are well tolerated, require less blood sampling and may result in improved attainment of target concentrations. Further prospective studies are needed in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605
Number of pages6
JournalThe Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Glycopeptide
  • infant
  • newborn
  • pharmacokinetics

Cite this