Meropenem

Pronunciation

Generic Name: meropenem (MER-oh-PEN-em)
Brand Name: Merrem

Meropenem is used for:

Treating infections caused by certain bacteria.

Meropenem is a carbapenem antibiotic. It kills bacteria by blocking the growth of the bacteria's cell wall.

Do NOT use meropenem if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in meropenem
  • you are taking probenecid

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using meropenem:

Some medical conditions may interact with meropenem. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had an allergic reaction (eg, rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, swelling, dizziness) to a penicillin antibiotic (eg, amoxicillin), a cephalosporin antibiotic (eg, cephalexin), or to any other beta-lactam antibiotic (eg, imipenem)
  • if you have kidney or liver problems, bacterial meningitis, or a history of seizures or central nervous system problems (eg, brain lesions), or you are in shock
  • if you are on dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with meropenem. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Probenecid because it may increase the actions and the risk of meropenem's side effects
  • Divalproex sodium or valproic acid because their effectiveness may be decreased by meropenem
  • Other medicines that may increase your risk of seizures (eg, tramadol) because the risk of seizures may be further increased when combined with meropenem. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about whether any of your other medicines may increase your risk for seizures

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if meropenem may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use meropenem:

Use meropenem as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Meropenem is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using meropenem at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use meropenem. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use meropenem if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use meropenem for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of meropenem, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use meropenem.

Important safety information:

  • Meropenem may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use meropenem with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Be sure to use meropenem for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Meropenem only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Long-term or repeated use of meropenem may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Meropenem may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using meropenem.
  • Lab tests may be performed while you use meropenem. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Meropenem should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 3 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using meropenem while you are pregnant. It is not known if meropenem is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use meropenem, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of meropenem:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; mild diarrhea; mild pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); bloating; bloody stools; breathing problems; chest pain; dark urine; decreased urination; depression; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hearing loss; joint pain or tenderness; mental or mood changes (eg, agitation, anxiety, confusion); numbness or tingling of the skin; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea; shortness of breath; stomach pain or cramps; swelling of the hands or feet; tremors or abnormal muscle movements; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; unusual vaginal odor or discharge; vein swelling or tenderness; white patches in the mouth; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include seizures; slow breathing; tremors.

Proper storage of meropenem:

Meropenem is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using meropenem at home, store meropenem as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep meropenem out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about meropenem, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Meropenem is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take meropenem or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about meropenem. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to meropenem. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using meropenem.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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