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Piperacillin

Generic Name: piperacillin (PI-per-a-SIL-in)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Piperacillin is used for:

Treating serious bacterial infections. It may also be used to prevent infections during surgery.

Piperacillin is an antibacterial agent. It works by blocking the bacteria's cell wall growth, which kills the bacteria.

Do NOT use piperacillin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in piperacillin
  • you have a history of allergic reaction to any penicillin (eg, amoxicillin), cephalosporin (eg, cephalexin), or beta-lactam antibiotic (eg, imipenem)
  • you are taking a tetracycline antibiotic (eg, doxycycline)

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

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Before using piperacillin:

Some medical conditions may interact with piperacillin. 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 cystic fibrosis, bowel inflammation, bleeding problems, congestive heart failure, or kidney problems
  • if you are on dialysis, or if you have a history of severe diarrhea or bowel problems due to an antibiotic
  • if you are on a salt-restricted diet or have low blood potassium levels

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

  • Aminoglycosides (eg, tobramycin) or oral contraceptives (birth control pills) because their effectiveness may be decreased by piperacillin
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because their effectiveness may be decreased or the risk of their side effects may be increased by piperacillin
  • Chemotherapy or diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of side effects, such as low blood potassium levels, may be increased
  • Heparin, methotrexate, or nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, vecuronium) because their actions and the risk of their side effects may be increased by piperacillin
  • Tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline) because they may decrease piperacillin's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if piperacillin 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 piperacillin:

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

  • Piperacillin is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using piperacillin at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use piperacillin. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use piperacillin if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and 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 piperacillin, 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 piperacillin.

Important safety information:

  • Piperacillin may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use piperacillin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using piperacillin. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Piperacillin may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • 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.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take piperacillin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Piperacillin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use piperacillin 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.
  • Long-term or repeated use of piperacillin 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.
  • Diabetes patients - Piperacillin may cause the results of some tests for urine glucose to be wrong. Ask your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Piperacillin may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking piperacillin.
  • Lab tests, including blood electrolyte levels, kidney or liver function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use piperacillin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use piperacillin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Piperacillin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in 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 piperacillin while you are pregnant. Piperacillin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use piperacillin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of piperacillin:

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:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; loose stools; nausea; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; tiredness; 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); bloody stools; calf pain or tenderness; decreased urination; fever, chills, or sore throat; inflammation at injection site; prolonged muscle relaxation; red, swollen, or blistered skin; seizures; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach pain; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vaginal irritation or discharge; vein inflammation or tenderness; 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 (http://www.aapcc.org ), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include excitability; seizures.

Proper storage of piperacillin:

Piperacillin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using piperacillin at home, store piperacillin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about piperacillin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Piperacillin 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 piperacillin 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 piperacillin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to piperacillin. 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 piperacillin.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
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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