Calculating safe dosage levels for potentially toxic drugs, by Rim Hur, December 2014.
Highly effective yet potentially toxic drugs such as Vancomycin and
Gentamycin call for continous monitoring. In order to ensure that
these drugs are used safely and effectively, serum creatinine levels
-- which reflect renal function -- and serum drug levels are regularly
measured. This program enables clinicians to predict toxicity for
some of these types of drugs using data obtained from pharmacokinetics
studies during phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials.
Vancomycin and Gentamycin are members of so-called "Class 3" drugs
and highly soluble but poorly metabolized. Of interest here are Class 3
drugs that are orally administered and can be divided into two categories:
those drugs whose pharmacokinetics (PK) properties can be represented by
a one-compartment model (Model A) and those whose PK properties can be
described by a two-compartment model (Model B).
During phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, scientists determine the
values of the PK parameters that define Model A and Model B. With those
known PK parameter values, this software tool predicts toxicity levels
of the drugs for given serum creatinine levels in patients. By ensuring
that the concentrations of the drugs stay below the calculated toxicity
levels, clinicians can effectively and safely use Class 3 drugs.
This software was developed as a research project for an introductory
programming course and is not intended for use in actual clinical situations.
The software has not been tested nor validated for clinical use and
is only intended as an illustration of a possible clinical application.
Program Source Code