Levofloxacin pharmacokinetics in adult cystic fibrosis

Carlton K.K. Lee, Michael P. Boyle, Marie Diener-West, Lois Brass-Ernst, Michelle Noschese, Pamela L. Zeitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients have enhanced renal clearance of aminoglycosides and several β-lactams and require higher dosages. Levofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone with extensive renal elimination and enhanced penetration into lungs and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) biofilms. We studied the preliminary pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) relationship of levofloxacin in CF. Methods: Twelve patients at least 18 years old with a mild-to-moderate pulmonary exacerbation and fluoroquinolone-sensitive PA colonization received oral levofloxacin, 500 mg qd, for 14 days. Steady-state serum concentrations were collected after 3 to 7 days, and sputum samples for PA densities were collected before and after levofloxacin. PK/PD relationships for reducing PA sputum densities were evaluated. Results: When compared to published data on non-CF patients, CF patients had similar area under the curve for 24 h (AUC24), total clearance, volume of distribution, maximum serum concentration (Cpmax), and elimination half-life: mean, 7.33 μg x h/mL/kg (SD, 1.70); 2.43 mL/min/kg (SD, 0.74); 1.33 L/kg (SD, 0.37); 7.08 (μg/mL (SD, 2.35); and 6.44 h (SD, 1.1), respectively. Time to reach maximum serum concentration (Tmax) in CF was longer: mean, 2.20 h (SD, 0.99) vs 1.1 h (SD, 0.4) [p < 0.01]. Preliminary PK/PD analysis failed to demonstrate trends for decreasing PA sputum densities with increasing Cpmax/minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ratio and AUC24/MIC ratio. Conclusion: CF levofloxacin pharmacokinetics corrected for body weight are similar to non-CF, except for Tmax. Standard levofloxacin dosing (especially monotherapy) is unlikely to produce maximum therapeutic effectiveness. Additional levofloxacin studies in CF are necessary to evaluate its sputum concentrations; the benefits of higher daily dosages (≥ 750 mg); and establish PK/PD targets for managing PA pulmonary infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Levofloxacin
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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