Pre-clinical experience with daptomycin

P. M. Hawkey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Daptomycin is a broad-spectrum, bactericidal agent active against Gram-positive bacteria, acting largely and unusually through membrane depolarization. Activity is markedly affected in vitro by the availability of calcium ions, and its high molecular weight with associated poor diffusion means that conventional disc diffusion testing is not reliable (and as a consequence not available). In order to allow susceptibility categorization, it is recommended that the MIC be determined in the presence of a defined calcium concentration. The activity of daptomycin is concentration-dependent with a prolonged post-antibiotic effect. It has linear pharmacokinetics, with a half-life of 8-9 h, the primary route of excretion is renal, it exhibits serum protein binding of ~92% and there is no interaction with the P450 cytochrome. Daptomycin is inactivated by surfactant in the lung and, in consequence, is not recommended for the treatment of respiratory infections. Daptomycin is currently licensed for the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections and for bacteraemia and right-sided endocarditis due to methicillin-susceptible and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus. To date, daptomycin-resistant bacteria have rarely been isolated from patients, although increases in vancomycin MIC may be linked to reduced susceptibility to daptomycin. Close monitoring of resistance is essential to maintain the clinical utility of the drug. Using once-daily dosing, daptomycin has been generally well tolerated; however, weekly monitoring of creatinine phosphokinase is recommended, as myopathy in skeletal muscles has been seen, albeit rarely. The rapid bactericidal action of daptomycin makes it a useful addition to the therapeutic armamentarium for the treatment of Gram-positive infections, providing a valuable alternative to vancomycin when it is inappropriate or resistance is a problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue numberSUPPL.3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Gram-positive infections
  • mic
  • mode of action
  • pharmacokinetics


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