Meropenem belongs to a group of medicines called carbapenem antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria, which can cause the following serious infections:
• Infection affecting the lungs (pneumonia)
• Lung and bronchial infections in patients suffering from cystic fibrosis
• Complicated urinary tract infections
• Complicated infections in the abdomen (stomach)
• Infections that you can catch during or after giving birth
• Complicated skin and soft tissue infections
• Acute bacterial infection of the brain (meningitis)
Meropenem may be used in the management of neutropenic patients (patients with low levels of white blood cells) with fever that is suspected to be due to a bacterial infection. Meropenem may be used to treat bacterial infection of the blood which might be associated with one of the infections mentioned above.
Antibiotic Class: Carbapenem
Aerobic gram-positive microorganisms: S. aureus including penicillinase-producing strains, Group D streptococcus including Enterococcus spp., Streptococcus pneumoniae, S. pyogenes, S.viridans group Aerobic gram-negative microorganisms: Acinetobacter spp., Citrobacter spp., Enterobactercloacae, E. coli, H. influenzae, K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa Anaerobic gram-positive microorganisms: Peptostreptococcus spp. Anaerobic gram-negative microorganisms: Bacteroides spp., Fusobacterium spp.
Mechanism of Action:
Cause rapid bacterial cell death by covalently binding to penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) involved in the biosynthesis of mucopeptides in bacterial cell walls. Bactericidal effects result through inhibition of cellular growth and division and the loss of cell wall integrity, eventuallycausing cell wall lysis. The primary target is PBP 2.
Other medicines and Meropenem
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines. This is because Meropenem can affect the way some medicines work and some medicines can affect the way Meropenem works. In particular, tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking any of the following medicines:
• Probenecid (used to treat gout).
• Valproic acid/sodium valproate/valpromide (used to treat epilepsy). Meropenem should not be used because it may decrease the effect of sodium valproate.
• Anti-coagulants (used to treat or prevent blood clots) taken by mouth.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or planning to have a baby, ask your doctor for advice before using this medicine. It is preferable to avoid the use of Meropenem during pregnancy. Your doctor will decide whether you should use Meropenem.
It is important that you tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or if you intend to breast-feed before receiving Meropenem. Small amounts of this medicine may pass into the breast milk and it may affect the baby. Therefore, your doctor will decide whether you should use Meropenem while breast-feeding.
Driving and using machines
No studies on the effect on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed. Meropenem has been associated with headache and tingling or pricking skin (paraesthesia). Any of these side effects could affect your ability to drive or operate machines.
Meropenem may cause involuntary muscle movements which may cause the person’s body to shake rapidly and uncontrollably (convulsions). This is usually accompanied with a loss of consciousness. Do not drive or use machines if you experience this side effect.
Meropenem contains sodium
Meropenem 500mg contains approximately 2.0 mEq of sodium per 500 mg dose. Meropenem 1g contains approximately 4.0 mEq of sodium per 1.0 g dose. This should be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet. If you have a condition which requires you to monitor your sodium intake, please inform your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
Hematologic: Bleeding, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, bone marrow aplasia (leucopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia)
Cardiovascular System: Phlebitis or thrombophlebitis
Central Nervous System: Headache, insomnia, agitation, confusion, dizziness, nervousness, paresthesia, hallucinations; Seizures
Gastrointestinal: Nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
Renal: Dysuria, kidney failure
Hepatic: Abnormalities of liver function tests
Dermatologic: Rash, pruritus
20 mL (500mg meropenem) injection vial for intravenous administration 30 mL (1g meropenem) injection vial for intravenous administration 100 mL (500mg meropenem)
vial: powder for reconsitution for intravenous administration 100 mL (1g meropenem)
Intra-abdominal infections: 1 g IV every 8 hrs
Meningitis, bacterial: 2 g IV every 8 hrs