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Pharmacokinetics: Practical Application to Antimicrobial Therapy

Ahern, John W. PharmD*†; Pierce, Kristen K. MD†

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice:
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e3181f0c12a
Review Articles

Antimicrobial concentrations at the site of infection are an important predictor of antibiotic efficacy. Pharmacokinetics is a subdivision of pharmacology that describes how drug concentrations change as a function of absorption, distribution, and elimination. As a result, pharmacokinetic concepts can be used by practitioners to prescribe and adjust antibacterial dosage regimens so that concentrations are optimal for the treatment of infectious diseases. This article reviews basic pharmacokinetic principles. It also illustrates through practical application the pertinence of pharmacokinetics to antimicrobial therapy.

Author Information

From the *Pharmacy Department, Fletcher Allen Health Care and †Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT.

Correspondence to: John W. Ahern, PharmD, Pharmacy Department, Fletcher Allen Health Care, 111 Colchester Ave, Burlington, VT 05401. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.