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Meropenem (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

mer-oh-PEN-em

Brand Names:

  • Merrem IV

Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Antibiotic

Pharmacologic—

Beta-Lactam

Chemical—

Carbapenem

Uses of This Medicine:

Meropenem injection is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It works by killing the bacteria or preventing their growth. This medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, meropenem is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Febrile neutropenia (treatment).

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of meropenem injection in children younger than 3 months of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of meropenem injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving meropenem injection.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Valproic Acid

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Probenecid

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Allergy to penicillins, cephalosporins, or other allergens, history of—Use may increase the risk for an allergic reaction to reoccur.
  • Brain infection (eg, meningitis) caused by bacteria or
  • Brain lesion (eg, tumor) or
  • Seizures, history of—May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects of may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. The medicine must be injected slowly, so your IV tube will need to stay in place for 15 to 30 minutes.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check you or your child closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.

Meropenem may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you or your child have itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive this medicine.

Some patients may develop tremors or seizures while receiving this medicine. If you or your child already have a history of seizures and you are taking anticonvulsants, you should continue unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are taking divalproex sodium (Depakote®) or valproic acid (Depakene®).

Meropenem may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. It may occur 2 months or more after you stop using this medicine. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause seizures, headaches, numbness or tingling sensation. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Do not take other medicines unless thy have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Redness and swelling at the injection site
Less common
Bluish lips or skin
chills
cold, clammy skin
confusion
dizziness
fainting
fast heartbeat
fast, weak pulse
fever
itching skin
lightheadedness
not breathing
pain at the injection site
rapid, shallow breathing
skin rash and itching
sweating
wheezing
Rare
Abdominal or stomach cramps and severe pain
agitation
black, bloody, or tarry stools
black, bloody vomit
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blurred vision
burning while urinating
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
convulsions (seizures)
cough
dark urine
decreased urine output
depression
diarrhea (watery and severe), which may also be bloody
difficult or painful urination
difficulty with breathing
dilated neck veins
extreme fatigue
fever with or without chills
headache
hostility
irregular breathing
irritability
lethargy
light-colored stools
loss of consciousness
muscle twitching
nausea
no blood pressure or pulse
nosebleed
pale skin
pounding in the ears
rapid weight gain
severe constipation
severe vomiting
slow, irregular heartbeat
stopping of the heart
stupor
tightness in the chest
troubled breathing with exertion
unconsciousness
unpleasant breath odor
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
weight gain
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Back, leg, or stomach pains
bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
chest pain
cough or hoarseness
general body swelling
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
joint or muscle pain
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
shortness of breath
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
swollen glands

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Constipation
Less common
Body aches or pain
cold hands and feet
cold sweats
congestion
cool pale skin
dryness or soreness of the throat
increased hunger
indigestion
nightmares
passing of gas
redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
runny nose
shakiness
slurred speech
sneezing
stomach pain, fullness, or discomfort
trouble with swallowing
vaginal yeast infection
voice changes
Rare
Acid or sour stomach
belching
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
full feeling
heartburn
hives or welts
redness of the skin
seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
trouble sleeping
white patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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