Glycopeptides and the newborn infant's kidney

Fanos, V.; Benini, D.; Vinco, S.; Pizzini, C.; Khoory, B.J.

La Pediatria Medica e Chirurgica Medical and Surgical Pediatrics 19(4): 259-262


ISSN/ISBN: 0391-5387
PMID: 9508651
Document Number: 6858
The aim of this paper was to evaluate glycopeptide nephrotoxicity in the newborn. The exact mechanism of nephrotoxicity has not been defined. Basal mechanism of vancomycin nephrotoxicity seems related to the energy-dependent tubular transport of the drug from blood to tubular cell across the basolateral membrane. Moreover a tubular reabsorption is probably involved, but it is not relevant for nephrotoxicity. Considering the widespread use of this antibiotic, the question of nephrotoxic side effects in humans is of great importance. However, the results of studies published to date are controversial. Results differ considerably depending on the period considered and on the sensitivity of the methods used to indicate renal damage. In paediatric patients (including neonates) the nephrotoxicity of vancomycin appears to be less than that in adults, thus confirming a number of experimental observations. It is commonly suggested that pharmacokinetic monitoring of doses in children should minimize nephrotoxicity. The most important risk factors for the development of the nephrotoxic action of vancomycin are: pre-dose values > 10 mg/l, prolonged therapy (> 21 days), and concomitant treatment with aminoglycosides. In most cases nephrotoxicity associated with vancomycin is reversible, even after high doses. In conclusion it could be speculated that vancomycin nephrotoxicity relates to the combined effect of a large area under the concentration-time curve and duration of therapy. Teicoplanin is a new glycopeptide that is effective in the treatment of both children and neonates and offers the advantages of once daily administration, choice of administration route (intramuscular or rapid intravenous bolus) and lack of requirement for routine therapeutic drug monitoring. Finally it seems less nephrotoxic than vancomycin. In the neonatal age bracket, none of the 173 patients treated presented abnormalities of traditional kidney function parameters.

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Glycopeptides and the newborn infant's kidney