- Side Effects
- Drug Interaction
- Precautions & Warnings
- Things to Know
Brand Name: Zosyn
Generic Name: piperacillin and tazobactam
Drug Class: Penicillins, Extended-Spectrum
What is piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Zosyn is an injectable combination of two antibiotics, piperacillin, and tazobactam, with broad-spectrum activity against an extended range of bacterial species. Piperacillin is an extended-spectrum penicillin antibiotic, but it can be destroyed by an enzyme produced by bacteria called beta-lactamase. Tazobactam inhibits beta-lactamase and prevents the destruction of piperacillin. Therefore, tazobactam is given with piperacillin to enhance the activity of piperacillin in eradicating bacterial infections.
Piperacillin kills bacteria by inhibiting the synthesis of bacterial cell walls. It binds preferentially to specific penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) located inside bacterial cell walls. PBPs vary among bacterial species, and thus susceptibility to piperacillin depends on the ability of piperacillin to bind to each species' specific PBPs.
In-vitro studies of piperacillin and tazobactam have shown that the combination has activity against a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.
Susceptible bacteria include:
- Aerobic and facultative gram-positive microorganisms: Staphylococcus aureus
- Aerobic and facultative gram-negative microorganisms: Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Gram-negative anaerobes: Bacteroides fragilis group (B.fragilis, B. ovatus, B. thetaiotaomicron, and B. vulgatus)
- Piperacillin and tazobactam were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 1993.
What brand names are available for piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
Is piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for a piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
What are the uses for piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
The combination of piperacillin and tazobactam (Zosyn) is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- E. coli infection
- Postpartum endometriosis
What are the side effects of piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
Common side effects associated with piperacillin/tazobactam include:
- difficulty sleeping,
- upset stomach,
- stool changes,
- Candida (oral [thrush] or genital yeast infection),
- high blood pressure,
- stomach pain,
- chest pain,
- rhinitis, and
- shortness of breath.
Rare side effects occurring with a frequency of less than 1% are:
- hypersensitivity-type reactions,
- canker sores,
- atrial fibrillation,
- cardiac arrest,
- cardiac arrhythmia,
- heart failure, and
- Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.
What is the dosage for piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
Zosyn should be administered by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes.
The usual daily dose of Zosyn for adults is 3.375 g every six hours totaling 13.5 g (12.0 g piperacillin/1.5 g tazobactam).
Initial presumptive treatment of patients with nosocomial pneumonia should start with Zosyn at a dosage of 4.5 g every six hours plus an aminoglycoside, totaling 18.0 g (16.0 g piperacillin/2.0 g tazobactam).
Dosage in patients with renal impairment (≤40 mL/min of CRCL) and dialysis patients should be reduced, based on the degree of actual renal function impairment.
For children with appendicitis and/or peritonitis the recommended Zosyn dosage is 100 mg piperacillin/12.5 mg tazobactam per kilogram of body weight, every 8 hours in pediatric patients 9 months of age and older. For pediatric patients 2 to 9 months of age, the recommended dosage is 80 mg piperacillin/10 mg tazobactam per kilogram of body weight, every 8 hours.
Zosyn and aminoglycosides should be reconstituted, diluted, and administered separately. Co-administration via Y-site can be done under certain conditions.
Which drugs or supplements interact with piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
- Probenecid may inhibit the renal tubular secretion (elimination via the kidneys) of piperacillin/tazobactam. This may cause higher, prolonged blood levels of piperacillin/tazobactam. The half-life of piperacillin is prolonged by 21% and the half-life of tazobactam by 71%.
- Piperacillin/tazobactam may inhibit platelet aggregation (formation of a blood clot) which may increase the risk of bleeding. Co-administration with blood thinning agents such as warfarin (Coumadin) requires close monitoring for signs or symptoms of bleeding.
- Piperacillin/tazobactam may prolong the neuromuscular blockade of vecuronium (Norcuron).
- Piperacillin/tazobactam may decrease the renal (kidney) elimination of methotrexate (Trexall). Patients on concurrent therapy with methotrexate should be monitored frequently for signs or symptoms of methotrexate toxicity.
- What Is Avascular Necrosis and How Does It Affect Bones?
- The Arch of the Human Foot Was Key to Upright Walking, Scientists Say
- Worried About Cataracts? Here's What You Need to Know
- FDA Issues Warning About Compounded Versions of Wegovy, Ozempic
- Sick Restaurant Workers Fuel Many Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
- More Health News »
Is piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
No evidence of fetal harm has been reported from the use of piperacillin/tazobactam, piperacillin alone, and tazobactam alone in mice and rats (animal studies). Piperacillin/tazobactam is known to cross the placenta. Piperacillin/tazobactam is approved for the treatment of postpartum infections. As with all medications, piperacillin/tazobactam should be used cautiously in pregnancy. The potential benefits of treatment should be weighed against any potential risk to the fetus. Piperacillin and tazobactam are classified as FDA pregnancy risk category C.
Piperacillin is excreted into human milk in small amounts. The excretion of tazobactam in human milk has not been studied. Due to the lack of safety data, piperacillin/tazobactam should be used cautiously in females who are breastfeeding.
What else should I know about piperacillin/tazobactam sodium injection?
- Piperacillin and tazobactam for injection are supplied as a powder for reconstitution (mixing).
- Powder for solution for injection: 2.25, 3.375, 4.5, 40.5 g
Piperacillin and tazobactam vials should be stored at controlled room temperature, between 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F), before reconstitution.
Piperacillin and tazobactam (Zosyn) is a combination of two antibiotics prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, E. coli infection, cellulitis, and postpartum endometriosis. Review side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Level?
Want to lower your blood sugar? Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar spikes and swings to avoid...
What Is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of endometrial cells found in the uterus. Not to be confused with...
Appendicitis: Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Appendectomy in Detail
What causes appendicitis? What causes a burst or ruptured appendix? Learn step-by-step what happens during laparoscopic...
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Learn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot...
Do I Have Pneumonia Quiz
Pneumonia can be deadly. Take the Pneumonia Quiz on MedicineNet to learn more about this highly contagious, infectious disease.
Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Discover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier...
Endometriosis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition. Take this quiz to learn what happens when a woman has endometriosis as well as...
Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do...
Appendicitis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
How dangerous is appendicitis? Take this quiz to answer questions, get quick facts, and learn the causes of appendicitis as well...
Picture of Appendicitis
Inflammation of the appendix, the small worm-like projection from the first part of the colon. See a picture of Appendicitis and...
Diabetes: 15 Famous Celebrities With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Slideshow: Diabetes Management in 10 Minutes
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
Related Disease Conditions
Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth, inflammation, and pain. The most common cause of cellulitis is the bacteria staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
Appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix, has many different causes. Pain in the abdomen is the most common symptom, but you also may experience nausea, vomiting, constipation, and fever. Learn about treatment and surgery.
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chills. Antibiotics treat pneumonia, and the choice of the antibiotic depends upon the cause of the infection.
Endometriosis implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, the outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity. They also can be found in the vagina, cervix, and bladder.
E. coli (0157:H7) Infection
There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E coli O157:H7 (EHEC) causes bloody diarrhea and colitis. Complications of E. coli infection include hemorrhagic diarrhea, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. E coli O157:H7 commonly is due to eating raw or undercooked hamburger or raw milk or dairy products.
Is E. coli Contagious? (Symptoms and Cure)
E. coli is an infection found worldwide. There are several subtypes of the E. coli species. E. coli spreads from person to person via contaminated food or water. Symptoms and signs of E. coli infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes fever. Antibiotics treat E. coli infection.
Diabetes Foot Problems
Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves, and peripheral vascular disease, where diabetes affects the flow of blood. Common foot problems for people with diabetes include athlete's foot, fungal infection of nails, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, dry skin, foot ulcers, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
Enterovirulent E. coli (EEC)
Enterovirulent Escherichia coli (E. coli) are strains of related bacteria that have a strong propensity to cause gastrointestinal tract infections. Examples of strains include: EHEC (enterohemorrhagic E. coli), ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli), EPEC (enteropathogenic E. coli), EIEC (enteroinvasive E. coli), EAEC (enteroadherent E. coli), and EAggEC (enteroaggregative E. coli). Symptoms may vary depending on the strain the individual contracts. Infection is spread generally through contaminated food or drink.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing information.