Oral and intravenous amoxicillin dosing recommendations in neonates: A pooled population pharmacokinetic study

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: There is a lack of evidence on oral amoxicillin pharmacokinetics and exposure in neonates with possible serious bacterial infection (pSBI). We aimed to describe amoxicillin disposition following oral and intravenous administration and to provide dosing recommendations for preterm and term neonates treated for pSBI.
Methods: In this pooled-population pharmacokinetic study, 3 datasets were combined for nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. In order to evaluate amoxicillin exposure following oral and intravenous administration, pharmacokinetic profiles for different dosing regimens were simulated with the developed population pharmacokinetic model. A target of 50% time of the free fraction above the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) with an MICECOFF of 8 mg/L (to cover gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli) was used.
Results: The cohort consisted of 261 (79 oral, 182 intravenous) neonates with a median (range) gestational age of 35.8 weeks (range, 24.9-42.4) and bodyweight of 2.6 kg (range, 0.5-5). A 1-compartment model with first-order absorption best described amoxicillin pharmacokinetics. Clearance (L/h/kg) in neonates born after 30 weeks' gestation increased with increasing postnatal age (PNA day 10, 1.25-fold; PNA day 20, 1.43-fold vs PNA day 3). Oral bioavailability was 87%. We found that a twice-daily regimen of 50 mg/kg/day is superior to a 3- or 4-times daily schedule in the first week of life for both oral and intravenous administration.
Conclusions: This pooledpopulation pharmacokinetic description of intravenous and oral amoxicillin in neonates provides age-specific dosing recommendations. We conclude that neonates treated with oral amoxicillin in the first weeks of life reach adequate amoxicillin levels following a twice-daily dosing regimen. Oral amoxicillin therapy could therefore be an adequate, cost-effective, and more patient-friendly alternative for neonates worldwide


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Clinical Infectious Diseases