Antibiotics are mainly old drugs that have been in use for many years. The doses of antibiotics we use to treat infections were mainly worked out using older methods in the 1960s-1980s. Often one fixed dose is used in adults with normal kidney function, and this dose is reduced in adults with poorer kidney function because their bodies don’t remove the antibiotics as fast.
However, in children antibiotics are usually given at different doses depending on a child’s weight, that is they receive a fixed mg of antibiotic for every kg they weigh. Sometimes this also depends on age. There have been big changes both in how heavy adults are, and how many people have poor kidney function, since many antibiotic doses were worked out. But we are still using the same fixed doses.
In this project we will work out how the usual doses of antibiotics used in hospital relate to weight and kidney function. We will then use a measure of infection, called C-reactive protein, to see whether there is any evidence that people who get more antibiotics for every kg extra they weigh clear infection faster.