Journal Article

Patient adherence to prescribed antimicrobial drug dosing regimens

Bernard Vrijens and John Urquhart

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 5, pages 616-627
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dki066
Patient adherence to prescribed antimicrobial drug dosing regimens

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The aim of this article is to review current knowledge about the clinical impact of patients' variable adherence to prescribed anti-infective drug dosing regimens, with the aim of renewing interest and exploration of this important but largely neglected area of therapeutics. Central to the estimation of a patient's adherence to a prescribed drug regimen is a reliably compiled drug dosing history. Electronic monitoring methods have emerged as the virtual ‘gold standard’ for compiling drug dosing histories in ambulatory patients. Reliably compiled drug dosing histories are consistently downwardly skewed, with varying degrees of under-dosing. In particular, the consideration of time intervals between protease inhibitor doses has revealed that ambulatory patients' variable execution of prescribed dosing regimens is a leading source of variance in viral response. Such analyses reveal the need for a new discipline, called pharmionics, which is the study of how ambulatory patients use prescription drugs. Properly analysed, reliable data on the time-course of patients' actual intake of prescription drugs can eliminate a major source of unallocated variance in drug responses, including the non-response that occurs and is easily misinterpreted when a patient's complete non-execution of a prescribed drug regimen is unrecognized clinically. As such, reliable compilation of ambulatory patients' drug dosing histories has the promise of being a key step in reducing unallocated variance in drug response and in improving the informational yield of clinical trials. It is also the basis for sound, measurement-guided steps taken to improve a patient's execution of a prescribed dosing regimen.

Keywords: compliance; directly observed therapy; drug delivery systems; viral load; antiretroviral drugs; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; pharmacometrics; pharmionics; tuberculosis; human inmunodeficiency virus (HIV); assay sensitivity

Journal Article.  11032 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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