Rev Esp Quimioter 2008;21(3):143-148

Obtain best usage of meropenem dose in severe infections. Results of an observational multicenter study

B. Álvarez-Sánchez ,  F. Álvarez-Lerma ,  J. L. Romero ,  L. Fernández Quero ,  F. Ruiz Ferrón ,  H. Sancho Ruiz   

Objective. To describe the effectiveness and tolerability of the dose adjustment of meropenem in empirical treatment of nosocomial infections in critically-ill patients admitted to intensive care medicine services.

Methods. Prospective, observational and multicenter study in patients admitted to 17 intensive care medicine services with nosocomial infection, who were initially treated with meropenem, 1 g every 8 h, were eligible. The initial dose was adjusted to 0.5 g every 8 h if there were: a) a favorable clinical course, and b) microbiological isolation of meropenem-susceptible pathogens or absence of pathogens in cultures.

Results. Ninety-two patients in whom meropenem doses were adjusted to 0.5 g every 8 h were included. Ventilator-associated pneumonia followed by bacteremia was the most frequently treated infections. Microbiological studies were positive in 53 patients, with a predominance of gram-positive bacteria (53.7%), especially methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, followed by gram-negative bacteria (42.7 %). A total of 18 patients were not evaluable at the end of treatment. Sixty-seven (90.5 %) of the 74 evaluable patients had a favorable clinical course (54 patients cured and 13 improved). In 50 out of 53 microbiologically evaluable cases, eradication or apparent eradication of initial microorganisms was achieved. In 3 cases, the initial pathogen persisted: Acinetobacter baumannii (2 cases) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (1 case). On three occasions, new pathogens developed during treatment: A. baumannii (2 cases) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (1 case). Adverse events occurred in 3 patients (4%), none of which was considered severe, and withdrawal of meropenem was not necessary. A total of 25 (27.2 %) patients died, three of them in relation to the infectious process.

Conclusions. Dose adjustment of meropenem to 0.5 g every 8 h is a useful tool in the treatment of severe nosocomial infections in patients admitted to services of intensive care medicine except in cases in which causative pathogens are non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria.  Key words:Meropenem. Severe infections. Therapeutic strategy. Acinetobacter baumannii. Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  

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