BACKGROUND: Neonatal infections are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Optimal treatment of these infections requires knowledge of neonatal pharmacology and integration of neonatal developmental pharmacokinetics (PKs) of antimicrobial drugs in the design of dosing regimens for use with different gestational and postnatal ages. Population PK and pharmacodynamic models are used to personalize the use of these drugs in these fragile patients. The final step to further minimize variability in an individual patient is therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), where the same population PK/pharmacodynamic models are used in concert with optimally drawn blood samples to further fine-tune therapy. The purpose of this article is to describe the present status and future role of model-based precision dosing and TDM of antimicrobial drugs in neonates. METHODS: PubMed was searched for clinical trials or clinical studies of TDM in neonates. RESULTS: A total of 447 articles were retrieved, of which 19 were concerned with antimicrobial drugs. Two articles (one aminoglycoside and one vancomycin) addressed the effects of TDM in neonates. We found that, in addition to aminoglycosides and vancomycin, TDM also plays a role in beta-lactam antibiotics and antifungal drugs. CONCLUSIONS: There is a growing awareness that, in addition to aminoglycosides and vancomycin, the use of beta-lactam antibiotics, such as amoxicillin and meropenem, and other classes of antimicrobial drugs, such as antifungal drugs, may benefit from TDM. However, the added value must be shown. New analytical techniques and software development may greatly support these novel developments.
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