Generic Name: imipenem and cilastatin (IM i PEN em and SYE la STAT in)
Brand Name: Primaxin IV
What is Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin)?
Imipenem is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.
Cilastatin helps imipenem work more effectively by preventing the breakdown of the antibiotic in the kidneys.
Imipenem and cilastatin is a combination medicine used to treat severe infections of the lower respiratory tract, skin, stomach, or female reproductive organs.
Imipenem and cilastatin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin)?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin)?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to imipenem or cilastatin, or if you are allergic to lidocaine or other local anesthetics (numbing medicine).
To make sure imipenem and cilastatin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
seizures or epilepsy;
history of head injury or brain tumor;
a history of allergy to penicillin antibiotics such as Amoxil, Augmentin, Moxatag, Principen, Dycill, Dynapen, Bactocill, Pen VK, Pfizerpen, Ticar, Timentin, and others; or
a history of allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Keflex, Omnicef, and others.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether imipenem and cilastatin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Imipenem and cilastatin is injected into a muscle. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Imipenem and cilastatin 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. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection.
Do not mix imipenem and cilastin with other medicines in the same syringe.
Do not inject this medicine into a vein.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
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. Imipenem and cilastatin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Imipenem and cilastatin is usually given as long as needed until your infection has cleared or you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
Store the unmixed medicine at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. After mixing imipenem and cilastatin, you must use it within 1 hour.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of imipenem and cilastatin.
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 Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin)?
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.
Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult 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;
upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
a seizure (convulsions);
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.
Common side effects may include:
pain where the medicine was injected;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
itching, rash; or
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 Primaxin IV (imipenem and cilastatin)?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
divalproex sodium (Depakote); or
valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with imipenem and cilastatin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Primaxin IV (cilastatin / imipenem)
- Other brands: Primaxin IM
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about imipenem and cilastatin.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: March 10, 2015