UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Pharmacokinetics of Antimicrobials in Children with Emphasis on Challenges Faced by Low and Middle Income Countries, a Clinical Review Meesters, Kevin; Alemayehu, Tinsae; Benou, Sofia; Buonsenso, Danilo; Decloedt, Eric H.; Pillay-Fuentes Lorente, Veshni; Downes, Kevin J.; Allegaert, Karel


Effective antimicrobial exposure is essential to treat infections and prevent antimicrobial resistance, both being major public health problems in low and middle income countries (LMIC). Delivery of drug concentrations to the target site is governed by dose and pharmacokinetic processes (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion). However, specific data on the pharmacokinetics of antimicrobials in children living in LMIC settings are scarce. Additionally, there are significant logistical constraints to therapeutic drug monitoring that further emphasize the importance of understanding pharmacokinetics and dosing in LMIC. Both malnutrition and diarrheal disease reduce the extent of enteral absorption. Multiple antiretrovirals and antimycobacterial agents, commonly used by children in low resource settings, have potential interactions with other antimicrobials. Hypoalbuminemia, which may be the result of malnutrition, nephrotic syndrome or liver failure, increases the unbound concentrations of protein bound drugs that may therefore be eliminated faster. Kidney function develops rapidly during the first years of life and different inflammatory processes commonly augment renal clearance in febrile children, potentially resulting in subtherapeutic drug concentrations if doses are not adapted. Using a narrative review approach, we outline the effects of growth, maturation and comorbidities on maturational and disease specific effects on pharmacokinetics in children in LMIC.

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