Drug Dosing in Critically Ill Patients with Renal Failure: A Pharmacokinetic Approach

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Accurate pharmacotherapy management in the intensive care unit (ICU) patient is crucial to minimize adverse drug events. Pharmacokinetic principles including absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) all play an important role in determining the fate of medications used in the critical care setting. Renal failure in this setting further alters pharmacokinetic parameters, resulting in drug dosing changes. This article highlights and applies principles of drug dosing in normal patients and in the pharmacokinetically challenging environment of critically ill patients with renal failure. Specific drug dosing tables serve as a guide for the clinician to renally adjust medication doses in the critically ill patient with renal failure.

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