International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 74–80 | Cite as

Colistin and polymyxin B for treatment of nosocomial infections in intensive care unit patients: pharmacoeconomic analysis

  • Júlia Coelho França Quintanilha
  • Natalia da Costa Duarte
  • Gustavo Rafaini Lloret
  • Marília Berlofa Visacri
  • Karen Prado Herzer Mattos
  • Desanka Dragosavac
  • Antonio Luis Eiras Falcão
  • Patricia MorielEmail author
Research Article


Background The emergence and rapid spread of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria related to nosocomial infections is a growing worldwide problem, and polymyxins have become important due to the lack of new antibiotics. Objectives To evaluate the outcomes and pharmacoeconomic impact of using colistin and polymyxin B to treat nosocomial infections. Setting Neurosurgical, cardiovascular, or transplantation intensive care unit (ICU) at the Clinical Hospital of the University of Campinas (São Paulo, Brazil). Method A retrospective cohort study was conduct in patients in the ICU. The renal function was determined daily during treatment by measuring the serum creatinine. A cost minimization analysis was performed to compare the relative costs of treatment with colistin and polymyxin B. Main outcomes measure The outcomes were 30-day mortality and frequency and onset of nephrotoxicity after beginning treatment. Results Fifty-one patients treated with colistin and 51 with polymyxin B were included. 30-day mortality was observed in 25.49% and 33.33% of patients treated with colistin and polymyxin B, respectively; Nephrotoxicity was observed in 43.14% and 54.90% of patients in colistin and polymyxin B groups, respectively; and onset time of nephrotoxicity was 9.86 ± 13.22 days for colistin and 10.68 ± 9.93 days for polymyxin B group. Colistin treatment had a lower cost per patient compared to the cost for polymyxin B treatment (USD $13,389.37 vs. USD $13,639.16, respectively). Conclusion We found no difference between 30-day mortality and nephrotoxicity between groups; however, colistin proved to be the best option from a pharmacoeconomic point of view.


Brazil Colistin Hospital infection Intensive care Multidrug-resistant bacteria Nephrotoxicity Pharmacoeconomics Polymyxin B 



The authors would like to thank the statistical office of School of Medical Sciences of University of Campinas (UNICAMP) for performing this statistical analysis.


This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) (Grant Numbers 164796/2014-2 and 02P4353/2015 to G.F.L).

Conflicts of interest

The Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Júlia Coelho França Quintanilha
    • 1
  • Natalia da Costa Duarte
    • 1
  • Gustavo Rafaini Lloret
    • 1
  • Marília Berlofa Visacri
    • 1
  • Karen Prado Herzer Mattos
    • 1
  • Desanka Dragosavac
    • 1
  • Antonio Luis Eiras Falcão
    • 1
  • Patricia Moriel
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Medical SciencesUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil

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