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Generic Name: piperacillin and tazobactam (PI per a SIL in and TAZ oh BAK tam)
Brand Name: Zosyn

What is piperacillin and tazobactam?

Piperacillin and tazobactam are penicillin antibiotics that fight bacteria in the body.

Piperacillin and tazobactam is a combination medicine used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria, such as urinary tract infections, bone and joint infections, severe vaginal infections, stomach infections, skin infections, and pneumonia.

This medication is sometimes given together with other antibiotics.

Piperacillin and tazobactam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about piperacillin and tazobactam?

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to certain antibiotics (especially a penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotic).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using piperacillin and tazobactam?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to:

  • piperacillin or any other penicillin antibiotic (amoxicillin, ampicillin, Augmentin, dicloxacillin, oxacillin, penicillin, ticarcillin, or others);

  • tazobactam; or

  • a cephalosporin antibiotic such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), or others.

To make sure piperacillin and tazobactam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;

  • an electrolyte imbalance such as low levels of potassium in your blood;

  • cystic fibrosis;

  • a history of any type of allergy; or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

Piperacillin and tazobactam is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Piperacillin and tazobactam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use piperacillin and tazobactam?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Piperacillin and tazobactam is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.

Piperacillin and tazobactam 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 only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Use this medication 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. Piperacillin and tazobactam will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

While using piperacillin and tazobactam, you may need frequent blood tests.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using piperacillin and tazobactam.

Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

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.

Store the unmixed powder medicine and the liquid diluent at cool room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

Medicine mixed in an IV bag must be used within 24 hours if you keep it at room temperature.

Mixed medication in an IV bag can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused mixture that has not been used within that time.

Mixed medicine in an infusion pump must be used within 12 hours if you keep it at room temperature.

If your medicine is frozen when you receive it, store the medicine container in a freezer until you are ready to prepare your dose.

You may thaw frozen medicine either in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not heat the medicine under hot water or in a microwave.

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 piperacillin and tazobactam?

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.

Piperacillin and tazobactam 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;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;

  • low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling;

  • signs of inflammation in your body--swollen glands, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, upper stomach pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), chest pain, new or worsening cough with fever, trouble breathing; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;

  • fever;

  • skin rash or itching;

  • itching or white patches in your mouth or throat;

  • headache, sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • vaginal itching or discharge.

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 piperacillin and tazobactam?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • methotrexate;

  • probenecid;

  • tobramycin, vancomycin, or other injected antibiotics; or

  • medicine to prevent blood clots, such as dabigatran (Pradaxa), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with piperacillin and tazobactam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about piperacillin and tazobactam.
  • 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: 5.01.

Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: July 21, 2016