meropenem (Merrem)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is meropenem-injection, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Meropenem is an injectable carbapenem antibiotic. It is similar to impenem and cilastin (Primaxin). Meropenem prevents bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Meropenem is effective against susceptible strains of E. coli, H. influenzae, K. pneumoniae, N. meningitidis, P. aeruginosa, and many other bacteria.

The FDA approved meropenem in June 1996.

What brand names are available for meropenem-injection?

Merrem

Is meropenem-injection available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for meropenem-injection?

Yes

What are the side effects of meropenem-injection?

Common side effects of meropenem are:

Injection site pain and inflammation

Serious reactions rarely may occur such as:

Serious hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions may occur.

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What is the dosage for meropenem-injection?

  • For the treatment of complicated skin infections in adults, 500 mg to 2 grams should be administered intravenously every 8 hours.
  • For abdominal infections, 1 to 2 grams should be administered intravenously every 8 hours.

Which drugs or supplements interact with meropenem-injection?

Meropenem should not be combined with valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote) because meropenem may reduce absorption of valproic acid and divalproex from the intestine and increase elimination of the drugs through the kidneys thereby reducing the levels of these drugs in the body and reducing their effectiveness.

Probenecid (Benemid) may increase levels of meropenem by reducing its elimination through the kidneys. Increased levels of meropenem in the body could increase side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headache.

Is meropenem-injection safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Safe and effective use of meropenem is not established in pregnant females. Therefore, it should be used only if clearly needed.

It is not known whether meropenem enters breast milk.

What else should I know about meropenem-injection?

What preparations of meropenem-injection are available?

Intravenous powder for solution: 500 mg/vial and 1 gram/vial.

How should I keep meropenem-injection stored?

Meropenem should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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Reviewed on 12/24/2014
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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