Medically reviewed on February 5, 2018
What is ertapenem?
Ertapenem is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.
Ertapenem is used to treat severe infections of the skin, lungs, stomach, pelvis, and urinary tract. It is also used to prevent infection in people having certain types of surgery.
Ertapenem may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ertapenem or to certain antibiotics, especially:
an antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Dispermox, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen).
You should not inject ertapenem into a muscle if you are allergic to a numbing medicine such as lidocaine or Novocain.
To make sure ertapenem is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Ertapenem can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 3 months old.
How should I use ertapenem?
Ertapenem is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject ertapenem if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, syringes, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Ertapenem is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine. Shake the mixture well just before you measure a dose.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Ertapenem will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.
Your doctor will need to check your progress while you are using ertapenem.
Store ertapenem powder at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
You may store the mixture for up to 6 hours at room temperature, or up to 24 hours in a refrigerator. Use the mixed medicine within 4 hours after removing it from a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using ertapenem?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Ertapenem side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
tremors, twitching, or rigid (very stiff) muscles;
a seizure (convulsions); or
unusual changes in your mood or behavior.
Common side effects include:
pain, redness, or mild swelling where the injection was given.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect ertapenem?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ertapenem, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
More about ertapenem
- Ertapenem Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 1 Review
- Drug class: carbapenems
Other brands: Invanz