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Once‐daily netilmicin for neutropenic pyrexia in paediatric oncology

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Aim: To establish the safety and efficacy of single daily intravenous netilmicin 6 mg/kg with piperacillin 100 mg/kg every 8 h for empirical, first‐line management of children with neutropenic pyrexia following cytotoxic chemotherapy. Methods: Observational study of children admitted to a regional oncology unit from October 1999–April 2002. Primary outcome measure was temperature 72 h after commencing antibiotic therapy; secondary measures were mortality, nephrotoxicity, symptomatic ototoxicity and serum netilmicin levels. Results: 280 episodes for 128 patients (median age 7.1 y) were documented, and 248 episodes were evaluated and compared with a previous cohort of 100 episodes for which the only difference was administration of netilmicin three times daily. Twenty‐seven per cent of single‐dose netilmicin episodes remained febrile at 72 h compared to 32% in the comparator group (difference – 4.7%; 95% CI: – 6.8% to 16.2%; p= 0.41). No patients died and we were unable to find evidence of nephrotoxicity or ototoxicity. Eighty‐nine per cent of “peak” serum netilmicin levels measured 30 min after infusion were 10 mg/l or greater, and 94% and 86% measured 12–16 h after the first and third dose, respectively, were 1 mg/l or less. Peak serum netilmicin level measurements and 12–16‐h measurements after the first dose were abandoned after the first 180 episodes.

: Netilmicin can safely be given as a single daily dose to children with febrile neutropenia who do not have biochemical evidence of nephrotoxicity. Monitoring peak serum levels of netilmicin is unnecessary. Levels taken 12–16 h after the third dose are adequate to monitor therapy if used in conjunction with a therapeutic guideline detailing the response to abnormal serum creatinine and netilmicin levels.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Oncology, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK 2: Pharmacy, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK 3: Centre for Medical Statistics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: 01 March 2005

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