Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


Previous studies have demonstrated high, concentration-dependent serum protein binding of cefonicid. To determine the in vivo pharmacokinetic significance of these observations, the pharmacokinetics of both total and unbound (non-protein-bound) cefonicid was studied in six volunteers after a single intravenous dose of 30 mg/kg. Saturable serum protein binding was observed in vivo; the mean +/- standard deviation free fraction of cefonicid was 17.6 +/- 6.1% immediately after administration and declined to a constant value of approximately 2% as total serum concentrations fell below 100 micrograms/ml. This nonlinear binding was associated with a pronounced decline in unbound serum cefonicid concentrations during the first 3 h after administration, with low or undetectable unbound drug concentrations by 12 h. Renal clearance of total cefonicid averaged 21.1 ml/min per kg and did not vary with time; in contrast, the mean +/- standard deviation unbound cefonicid renal clearance increased from 5.7 +/- 2.1 to 10.8 +/- 1.6 ml/min per kg with time (P less than 0.02). This study may partially explain the poor results obtained with single daily dosing of cefonicid in endocarditis. Dosage regimens of certain antimicrobial agents with high, saturable serum protein binding and extensive renal tubular secretion may be most appropriately designed based on unbound drug pharmacokinetics.