The monitoring of blood levels of an antibiotic should be performed if certain indications are present. The findings can help guide the choice and dose of antibiotic therapy.

Often the duration of antibiotic therapy is relatively short, limiting the benefits of plasma monitoring.


Indications for monitoring blood levels of an antibiotic:

(1) narrow therapeutic index

(2) signs and symptoms that could be signs of toxicity

(3) failure to respond to therapy

(4) high doses required to treat a severe infection

(5) risk factors for decreased drug elimination and increased accumulation

(6) risk factors for enhanced elimination, including hemodialysis


Barriers to monitoring antibiotic blood levels:

(1) availability

(2) cost

(3) turnaround time

(4) reliability

(5) interpretability

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