Clinical Pharmacokinetics in Kidney Disease: Application to Rational Design of Dosing Regimens

Darren M Roberts, Jacob Sevastos, Jane E Carland, Sophie L Stocker, Tom N Lea-Henry
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: CJASN 2018 August 7, 13 (8): 1254-1263
A change in pharmacokinetics can alter drug exposure and predispose the patient to either over- or underdosing, potentially resulting in adverse drug reactions or therapeutic failure. Kidney disease is characterized by multiple physiologic effects, which induce clinically significant changes in pharmacokinetics. These vary between individuals and may be quantitated in certain instances. An understanding of pharmacokinetic concepts is, therefore, important for a rational approach to the design of drug dosing regimens for the delivery of personalized medical care. Whether kidney disease is acute or chronic, drug clearance decreases and the volume of distribution may remain unchanged or increase. AKI is defined by dynamic changes in kidney function, which complicates attempts to accurately quantify drug clearance. In contrast, changes in drug clearance progress more slowly with CKD. In general, kidney replacement therapies increase drug clearance, but the extent to which this occurs depends on the modality used and its duration, the drug's properties, and the timing of drug administration. However, the changes in drug handling associated with kidney disease are not isolated to reduced kidney clearance and an appreciation of the scale of potential derangements is important. In most instances, the first dose administered in patients with kidney disease is the same as in patients with normal kidney function. However, in some cases, a higher (loading) initial dose is given to rapidly achieve therapeutic concentrations, followed by a lower maintenance dose, as is well described when prescribing anti-infectives to patients with sepsis and AKI. This review provides an overview of how pharmacokinetic principles can be applied to patients with kidney disease to personalize dosage regimens. Patients with kidney disease are a vulnerable population and the increasing prevalence of kidney disease means that these considerations are important for all prescribers.

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