IV to PO Conversions: What Should Clinicians Know?

Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and Contagion® Editorial Advisory Board Member, discusses some points to be mindful of when considering IV to PO conversions.

Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and Contagion® Editorial Advisory Board Member, discusses some points to be mindful of when considering IV to PO conversions.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability

“IV [intravenous] to PO [oral] conversions are something we think of as sort of ‘low-hanging fruit’ in the world of antimicrobial stewardship because they’re relatively easy-to-do interventions that can have a major impact. Any time you’re able to change a patient from an IV to oral medication, there’s data that you can decrease the hospital length-of-stay, less chance of line-related infections if you’re able to remove that patient’s IV access if they no longer need it. Also, you usually get some bonus cost-savings, as oral medications tend to be less expensive than their IV counterparts.

So, that’s a very low-hanging fruit intervention in the world of stewardship in that it’s relatively simple but can have a big impact.

As long as you’re choosing the right drug for your IV to PO conversion, it shouldn’t affect efficacy. You want to focus on drugs that are 100% bio-available, meaning that their oral formulation will get serum levels that equate their IV counterparts.”