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Meropenem

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 11, 2019.

Pronunciation

(mer oh PEN em)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Solution Reconstituted, Intravenous:

Merrem: 500 mg (1 ea [DSC]); 1 g (1 ea [DSC])

Generic: 500 mg (1 ea [DSC]); 1 g (1 ea [DSC])

Solution Reconstituted, Intravenous [preservative free]:

Merrem: 500 mg (1 ea); 1 g (1 ea) [pyrogen free]

Generic: 500 mg (1 ea); 1 g (1 ea); 1 g/50 mL in NaCl 0.9% (1 ea); 500 mg/50 mL in NaCl 0.9% (1 ea)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Merrem

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antibiotic, Carbapenem

Pharmacology

Inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to several of the penicillin-binding proteins, which in turn inhibit the final transpeptidation step of peptidoglycan synthesis in bacterial cell walls, thus inhibiting cell wall biosynthesis; bacteria eventually lyse due to ongoing activity of cell wall autolytic enzymes (autolysins and murein hydrolases) while cell wall assembly is arrested

Distribution

Penetrates into most tissues and body fluids including urinary tract, peritoneal fluid, bone, bile, lung, bronchial mucosa, muscle tissue, heart valves (Craig 1997), and CSF (CSF penetration: Neonates and Infants ≤3 months: 70%)

Vd:

Neonates and Infants ≤3 months: Median: ~0.47 L/kg (Smith 2011)

Children: 0.3-0.4 L/kg (Blumer 1995)

Adults: 15 to 20 L

Metabolism

Hepatic; hydrolysis of beta-lactam bond to open beta-lactam form (inactive) (Craig, 1997)

Excretion

Urine (~70% as unchanged drug; ~28% inactive metabolite); feces (2%)

Clearance: Neonates and Infants ≤3 months: 0.12 L/hour/kg (Smith 2011); Infants and Children: 0.26-0.37 L/hour/kg (Blumer 1995)

Time to Peak

Tissue: ~1 hour following infusion except in bile, lung, and muscle; CSF: 2 to 3 hours with inflamed meninges

Half-Life Elimination

Neonates and Infants ≤3 months: Median: 2.7 hours; range: 1.6- 3.8 hours (Smith 2011)

Infants and Children 3 months to 2 years: 1.5 hours

Children 2-12 years and Adults: 1 hour

Protein Binding

~2%

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

Clearance correlates with CrCl in patients with renal impairment.

Special Populations: Elderly

Reduction in plasma clearance correlates with age-associated reduction in creatinine clearance (CrCl) (Craig 1997)

Use: Labeled Indications

Intra-abdominal infections: Treatment of complicated appendicitis and peritonitis in adult and pediatric patients caused by viridans group streptococci, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacteroides fragilis, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, and Peptostreptococcus species.

Meningitis, bacterial: Treatment of bacterial meningitis in pediatric patients 3 months and older caused by Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, and penicillin-susceptible isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Skin and skin structure infection, complicated: Treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections in adults and pediatric patients 3 months and older caused by Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible isolates only), Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae, viridans group streptococci, Enterococcus faecalis (vancomycin-susceptible isolates only), P. aeruginosa, E. coli, Proteus mirabilis, B. fragilis, and Peptostreptococcus species.

Off Label Uses

Anthrax

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expert panel meetings on prevention and treatment of anthrax, meropenem is an effective and recommended agent for the treatment of anthrax meningitis and an effective and recommended alternative agent for systemic anthrax.

Bite wound infection, treatment, animal or human bite

Based on the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), meropenem is an effective and recommended alternative agent for treatment of animal or human bite wounds.

Bloodstream infection (gram-negative bacteremia)

Based on the IDSA guidelines for the diagnosis and management of intravascular catheter-related infection, meropenem is effective and recommended in the management of catheter-related bloodstream infection.

Clinical experience also suggests the utility of meropenem for the treatment of bloodstream infection caused by gram-negative pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa [Moehring 2019a].

Brain abscess

Data from a retrospective study suggest that meropenem may be beneficial for the treatment of brain abscess [Martin-Canal 2010]. Clinical experience suggests the utility of meropenem for the treatment of brain abscess caused by gram-negative pathogens, including P. aeruginosa [Bodilsen 2018], [Southwick 2019].

Cystic fibrosis, acute pulmonary exacerbation

Data from several randomized trials of patients with cystic fibrosis and infection with P. aeruginosa treated with meropenem (with and without the use of tobramycin) support the use of meropenem in the treatment of this condition [Blumer 2005], [Byrne 1995], [Latzin 2008]. Clinical experience also suggests the utility of meropenem for pulmonary exacerbation in patients with cystic fibrosis [Chmiel 2014], [Zobell 2012].

Diabetic foot infection, moderate to severe

Clinical experience suggests the utility of meropenem for the treatment of moderate to severe diabetic foot infection in patients at risk for P. aeruginosa [Weintrob 2019].

Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei infection)

Melioidosis is a worldwide subtropical and tropical bacterial disease caused by contact with Burkholderia pseudomallei-contaminated water or soil [Lipsitz 2012]. Data from a limited number of patients treated with meropenem (case series of 63 patients in a single institution) suggest that meropenem may be beneficial for the treatment of this condition [Cheng 2004].

A US Department of Health and Human Services workshop on treatment of and postexposure prophylaxis for B. pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei infection also supports the use of meropenem as a second-line agent for initial treatment of melioidosis [Lipsitz 2012].

Neutropenic enterocolitis (typhlitis)

Based on the IDSA clinical practice guideline for the use of antimicrobial agents in neutropenic patients with cancer: 2010 update, meropenem is effective and recommended in the management of neutropenic enterocolitis.

Clinical experience also suggests the utility of meropenem as an alternative agent for the treatment of neutropenic enterocolitis [Wong Kee Song 2019].

Neutropenic fever, high-risk cancer patients

Based on the IDSA clinical practice guideline for the use of antimicrobial agents in neutropenic patients with cancer: 2010 update, meropenem is effective and recommended in the management of febrile neutropenia.

Pneumonia

Based on the IDSA and American Thoracic Society (ATS) consensus guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults, meropenem, as part of an appropriate combination regimen, is an effective and recommended treatment option for patients with community-acquired pneumonia at risk for P. aeruginosa infection.

Based on the IDSA and ATS guidelines on the management of adults with hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia, meropenem alone or in combination with other antimicrobials (dependent on patient factors), is an effective and recommended option for empiric treatment of hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Prosthetic joint infection (pathogen-directed therapy for multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli, including P. aeruginosa)

Based on the IDSA guidelines on the diagnosis and management of prosthetic joint infection, meropenem is effective and recommended in the management of prosthetic joint infection.

Sepsis and septic shock (broad-spectrum empiric therapy, including P. aeruginosa)

Clinical experience suggests the utility of meropenem for the treatment of sepsis or septic shock caused by an infectious etiology [Moehring 2019a], [Schmidt 2019].

Skin and soft tissue infection (moderate to severe infection, necrotizing infection, select surgical site infections [intestinal, GU tract]), broad-spectrum empiric coverage, including P. aeruginosa

Based on the IDSA guidelines for the diagnosis and management of SSTIs, meropenem, in combination with an agent effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (eg, vancomycin, linezolid, daptomycin), is an effective and recommended empiric treatment for polymicrobial (mixed) necrotizing infections of the skin, fascia, and muscle and surgical site infections after intestinal or genitourinary tract surgery.

Urinary tract infection, complicated (including pyelonephritis)

Data from a multicenter, randomized, parallel-group study support the use of meropenem in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections [Cox 1995]. Clinical experience also suggests the utility of meropenem in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections, although use should be reserved for critically ill patients or patients with risk factor(s) for multidrug-resistant pathogens, including extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing organisms [Hooton 2019].

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to meropenem, other drugs in the same class, or any component of the formulation; patients who have experienced anaphylactic reactions to beta-lactams

Dosing: Adult

Note: Infusion method: Dosing is presented based on the traditional infusion method over 30 minutes, unless otherwise specified.

Usual dosage range:

Traditional intermittent infusion method (over 30 minutes): IV: 500 mg every 6 hours or 1 to 2 g every 8 hours; 500 mg every 6 hours achieves comparable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters to 1 g every 8 hours (Kuti 2003; Lodise 2006).

Extended infusion method (off-label): IV: 1 to 2 g every 8 hours over 3 hours. May give a loading dose of 1 to 2 g over 30 minutes, especially when rapid attainment of therapeutic drug concentrations is desired (eg, sepsis) (Crandon 2011; SCCM [Rhodes 2017]).

Continuous infusion method (off-label): IV: 2 g every 8 hours over 8 hours or 3 g every 12 hours over 12 hours (Venugopalan 2018). May give a loading dose of 1 to 2 g over 30 minutes, especially when rapid attainment of therapeutic drug concentrations is desired (eg, sepsis) (SCCM [Rhodes 2017]).

Note: Extended and continuous infusion methods are based largely on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling data (Crandon 2011; Dulhunty 2015; Yu 2018). A prolonged infusion strategy has a greater likelihood of attaining pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic targets and may offer clinical benefit in patients with severe infections or less susceptible pathogens (Yu 2018). Meropenem stability (admixed with NS at a concentration of 20 mg/mL) at room temperature for >1 hour or under refrigeration for >15 hours is not supported by the manufacturer. Data exist supporting stability for extended and continuous infusion when admixed with NS at a concentration of 14.3 mg/mL at room temperature for ≤7 hours (Fawaz 2019) and at a concentration of 20 mg/mL under refrigeration for ≤24 hours (Patel 1997). Pharmacokinetic data support the use of an admixture of 10 mg/mL in NS as stable at room temperature for an infusion duration ≤12 hours (Venugopalan 2018).

Indication-specific dosing:

Anthrax (off-label use): Note: Consult public health officials for event-specific recommendations.

Systemic (meningitis excluded), treatment (alternative agent): IV: 2 g every 8 hours as part of an appropriate combination regimen for 2 weeks or until clinically stable, whichever is longer (CDC [Hendricks 2014]).

Meningitis, treatment: IV: 2 g every 8 hours as part of an appropriate combination regimen for 2 to 3 weeks or until clinically stable, whichever is longer (CDC [Hendricks 2014]).

Note: Antitoxin should also be administered. Following the course of IV combination therapy for systemic anthrax infection (including meningitis), patients exposed to aerosolized spores require oral monotherapy to complete a total antimicrobial course of 60 days (CDC [Hendricks 2014]).

Bite wound infection, treatment, animal or human bite (alternative agent) (off-label use): IV: 1 g every 8 hours; duration of treatment for established infection (which may include oral step-down therapy) is typically 5 to 14 days and varies based on patient-specific factors, including clinical response (Baddour 2019a; Baddour 2019b; IDSA [Stevens 2014]).

Bloodstream infection (gram-negative bacteremia) (off-label use): For empiric therapy of known or suspected gram-negative organisms (including Pseudomonas aeruginosa) or pathogen-directed therapy for organisms resistant to other agents.

IV: 1 g every 8 hours (IDSA [Mermel 2009]); for empiric therapy in patients with neutropenia, severe burns, sepsis, or septic shock, give as part of an appropriate combination regimen (Kanj 2019a; Moehring 2019a; SCCM [Rhodes 2017]). Note: For critical illness or infection with an organism with an elevated minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), some experts prefer the extended or continuous infusion method and/or increasing the dose to 2 g every 8 hours (Del Bono 2017; Moehring 2019a; SCCM [Rhodes 2017]).

Duration of therapy: Usual duration is 7 to 14 days depending on the source, pathogen, extent of infection, and clinical response; a 7-day duration is recommended for patients with uncomplicated Enterobacteriaceae infection who respond appropriately to antibiotic therapy (Moehring 2019a; Yahav 2018). Note: If neutropenic, extend treatment until afebrile for 2 days and neutrophil recovery (ANC ≥500 cells/mm3 and increasing) (IDSA [Freifeld 2011]). For P. aeruginosa bacteremia in neutropenic patients, some experts treat for a minimum of 14 days and until recovery of neutrophils (Kanj 2019b).

Brain abscess (off-label use): As a component of empiric or directed therapy in patients at risk for P. aeruginosa or other resistant gram-negative bacteria (eg, neurosurgical or immunocompromised patients).

IV: 2 g every 8 hours as part of an appropriate combination regimen; duration generally ranges from 4 to 8 weeks, but some patients require a longer course. The appropriate duration depends on cultured pathogen(s) and patient-specific factors, including clinical response (Bodilsen 2018; Southwick 2019).

Cystic fibrosis, acute pulmonary exacerbation (off-label use): For empiric or targeted therapy for P. aeruginosa or other gram-negative bacilli.

IV: 2 g every 8 hours, most often given as part of an appropriate combination regimen (Chmiel 2014; Flume 2009). Note: Some experts prefer the extended or continuous infusion method to optimize exposure (Delfino 2018; Kuti 2004; Simon 2019).

Duration of therapy: The optimal duration is not well defined and should be individualized based on clinical response (Flume 2009); duration is usually 10 days to 3 weeks or longer (Simon 2019).

Diabetic foot infection, moderate to severe (off-label use): As a component of empiric therapy in patients at risk for P. aeruginosa (eg, significant water exposure, macerated wound) or other resistant gram-negative bacteria.

IV: 1 g every 8 hours. Duration (which may include oral step-down therapy) is usually 2 to 4 weeks in the absence of osteomyelitis, but varies based on patient-specific factors, including clinical response (IDSA [Lipsky 2012]; Weintrob 2019).

Intra-abdominal infection, health care-associated or high-risk community-acquired infection: Note: For community-acquired infection, reserve for severe infection or patients at high risk of adverse outcome and/or resistance (Barshak 2019; IDSA [Solomkin 2010]). As a component of empiric therapy in patients at risk for P. aeruginosa or other resistant gram-negative bacteria.

Cholecystitis, acute: IV: 1 g every 8 hours; continue for 1 day after gallbladder removal or until clinical resolution in patients managed nonoperatively (Gomi 2018; SIS [Mazuski 2017]; SIS/IDSA [Solomkin 2010]; Vollmer 2019).

Other intra-abdominal infection (eg, cholangitis, perforated appendix, diverticulitis, intra-abdominal abscess): IV: 1 g every 8 hours. Total duration of therapy (which may include oral step-down therapy) is 4 to 7 days following adequate source control (Gomi 2018; SIS [Mazuski 2017]; SIS/IDSA [Solomkin 2010]); for infections managed without surgical or percutaneous intervention, a longer duration may be necessary (Barshak 2019; Pemberton 2019). Note: For patients who are critically ill or at high risk for infection with drug-resistant pathogens, some experts favor the extended or continuous infusion method (Barshak 2019; WSES [Sartelli 2017]).

Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei infection) (off-label use): Initial intensive therapy: IV: 1 g every 8 hours for 10 to 14 days; a longer duration may be necessary depending on disease severity and site of infection (Cheng 2004; Inglis 2006; Lipsitz 2012). Some experts recommend 2 g every 8 hours for patients with neurological involvement and adding sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim for patients with focal disease of the CNS, prostate, bone, joint, skin, or soft tissue (Currie 2019). Note: Following the course of parenteral therapy, eradication therapy with oral antibiotics for ≥12 weeks is recommended (Lipsitz 2012).

Meningitis, bacterial: As a component of empiric therapy for health care-associated infections or infections in immunocompromised patients, or as pathogen-specific therapy for gram-negative bacteria resistant to other antibiotics (eg, P. aeruginosa, Acinetobacter spp.).

IV: 2 g every 8 hours. Treatment duration is 7 to 21 days depending on causative pathogen(s) and clinical response; 10 to 14 days is the minimum duration for gram-negative bacilli, although some experts prefer ≥21 days (IDSA [Tunkel 2004]; IDSA [Tunkel 2017]; Tunkel 2019). Note: Consider use of an extended or continuous infusion for more resistant pathogens (Capitano 2004; IDSA [Tunkel 2017]).

Neutropenic enterocolitis (typhlitis) (alternative agent) (off-label use): Note: Reserve for patients colonized or infected with a resistant gram-negative bacillus, such as an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organism (Wong Kee Song 2019).

IV: 1 g every 8 hours; continue until neutropenia is resolved and clinically improved, then switch to oral antibiotics. The total duration of antibiotics is generally 14 days following recovery from neutropenia (IDSA [Freifeld 2011]; Wong Kee Song 2019).

Neutropenic fever, high-risk cancer patients (empiric therapy) (off-label use): Note: High-risk patients are those expected to have an ANC ≤100 cells/mm3 for >7 days or an ANC ≤100 cells/mm3 for any expected duration if there are ongoing comorbidities (eg, sepsis, mucositis, significant hepatic or renal dysfunction) (IDSA [Freifeld 2011]); some experts use an ANC cutoff of <500 cells/mm3 to define high-risk patients (Wingard 2019).

IV: 1 g every 8 hours until afebrile for ≥48 hours and resolution of neutropenia (ANC ≥500 cells/mm3 and increasing) or standard duration for the specific infection identified, if longer than the duration of neutropenia. Additional agent(s) may be needed depending on clinical status (IDSA [Freifeld 2011]; Ohata 2011; Wingard 2019). Some experts prefer the extended or continuous infusion method, particularly in those who are critically ill (Fehér 2014; Moehring 2019b; SCCM [Rhodes 2017]; Wingard 2019).

Pneumonia (off-label use):

Community-acquired pneumonia, as a component of empiric therapy for inpatients at risk of infection with a multidrug-resistant gram-negative pathogen(s), including P. aeruginosa: IV: 1 g every 8 hours as part of an appropriate combination regimen. Total duration (which may include oral step-down therapy) is a minimum of 5 days and varies based on disease severity and response to therapy; a longer course may be required for severe or complicated infection or for P. aeruginosa infection (File 2019; Kanj 2019c). Patients should be afebrile for ≥48 hours and clinically stable prior to discontinuation (File 2019; IDSA/ATS [Mandell 2007]).

Hospital-acquired or ventilator-associated pneumonia, as empiric therapy or pathogen-specific therapy for multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli (eg, P. aeruginosa, Acinetobacter spp.): IV: 1 g every 8 hours, as part of an appropriate combination regimen. Duration of therapy varies based on disease severity and response to therapy; treatment is typically given for 7 days (IDSA/ATS [Kalil 2016]), but a longer course may be required for severe or complicated infection or for P. aeruginosa infection (Kanj 2019c). Note: Some experts reserve meropenem for patients at risk of infection with a multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative pathogen(s), including P. aeruginosa (Klompas 2019). Some experts prefer the extended or continuous infusion method, particularly in those who are critically ill (Klompas 2019; Moehring 2019b; SCCM [Rhodes 2017]).

Prosthetic joint infection (pathogen-directed therapy for multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli, including P. aeruginosa) (off-label use): IV: 1 g every 8 hours; duration varies, but is generally 4 to 6 weeks for patients who undergo resection arthroplasty (IDSA [Osmon 2013]).

Sepsis and septic shock (broad-spectrum empiric therapy, including P. aeruginosa) (off-label use): IV: 1 to 2 g every 8 hours in combination with other appropriate agent(s) (Jaruratanasirikul 2015; Moehring 2019a; Schmidt 2019; Sjövall 2018). Initiate therapy as soon as possible once there is recognition of sepsis or septic shock. Usual duration of treatment is dependent on underlying source but is typically 7 to 10 days or longer depending upon clinical response. Consider discontinuation if a noninfectious etiology is identified (SCCM [Rhodes 2017]; Schmidt 2019). Note: Some experts prefer the extended or continuous infusion method (Moehring 2019b; SCCM [Rhodes 2017]; Sjövall 2018).

Skin and soft tissue infection (moderate to severe infection, necrotizing infection, select surgical site infections [intestinal, GU tract]), broad-spectrum empiric coverage, including P. aeruginosa: IV: 1 g every 8 hours as part of an appropriate combination regimen. Duration varies based on extent of infection, clinical response, and other patient-specific factors; for necrotizing infection, continue until further debridement is not necessary, patient has clinically improved, and patient is afebrile for ≥48 hours (Fish 2006; IDSA [Stevens 2014]; Kanj 2019d).

Urinary tract infection, complicated (including pyelonephritis) (off-label use): IV: 1 g every 8 hours; when used for empiric therapy, use alone or in combination with other appropriate agents. Switch to an appropriate oral regimen once patient has improvement in symptoms, if culture and susceptibility results allow. Duration of therapy depends on the antimicrobial chosen to complete the regimen and ranges from 5 to 14 days. Note: Reserve for critically ill patients or for patients with risk factor(s) for MDR pathogens, including ESBL-producing organisms and P. aeruginosa (Hooton 2019).

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

General dosing, susceptible infection (non-CNS): Infants, Children, and Adolescents: IV: 20 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 1,000 mg/dose (Bradley 2017)

Cystic fibrosis, pulmonary exacerbation: Limited data available: Infants, Children, and Adolescents: IV: 40 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 2,000 mg/dose (Zobell 2012)

Febrile neutropenia, empiric treatment: Limited data available: Infants, Children, and Adolescents: IV: 20 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 1,000 mg/dose (Bradley 2017; Lehrnbecher 2017)

Intra-abdominal infection, complicated: Note: IDSA guidelines recommend treatment duration of 4 to 7 days (Solomkin 2010)

Infants 1 to <3 months:

GA <32 weeks: IV: 20 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours

GA ≥32 weeks: IV: 30 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours

Infants ≥3 months, Children, and Adolescents: IV: 20 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 1,000 mg/dose

Meningitis: Infants (Limited data available <3 months of age), Children, and Adolescents: IV: 40 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 2,000 mg/dose (Bradley 2017); duration of therapy dependent upon pathogen: N. meningitidis, H. influenza: 7 days; S. pneumoniae: 10 to 14 days; aerobic gram-negative bacilli: 21 days (Tunkel 2004)

Skin and skin structure infection, complicated:

Manufacturer's labeling: Infants ≥3 months, Children, and Adolescents: IV: 10 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 500 mg/dose

Severe or necrotizing infections: Infants, Children, and Adolescents: IV: 20 mg/kg/dose every 8 hours; maximum dose: 1,000 mg/dose (IDSA [Stevens 2014])

Reconstitution

Meropenem infusion vials may be reconstituted with SWFI. The 500 mg vials should be reconstituted with 10 mL, and 1 g vials with 20 mL. May be further diluted to a final concentration ranging from 1 to 20 mg/mL with a compatible solution for infusion. Consult detailed reference/product labeling for compatibility.

Duplex: Unlatch side tab, unfold, remove foil strip from drug chamber. Point set port in downward direction, fold container just below the diluent meniscus, and squeeze the diluent chamber until the seal between the diluent and drug powder opens. Agitate until dissolved.

Administration

IV: Administer IV infusion over 15 to 30 minutes; IV bolus injection (5 to 20 mL) over 3 to 5 minutes

Extended infusion administration (off-label method): Administer over 3 hours (Crandon 2011; Dandekar 2003). Note: Must consider meropenem's limited room temperature stability if using extended infusions.

Continuous infusion method (off-label method): IV: Administer every 8 hours over 8 hours or every 12 hours over 12 hours (Venugopalan 2018). Note: Must consider meropenem's limited room temperature stability if using extended infusions.

Dietary Considerations

Some products may contain sodium.

Storage

Freshly prepared solutions should be used. However, constituted solutions maintain satisfactory potency under the conditions described below. Solutions should not be frozen.

Store intact vials and unactivated Duplex containers at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Unactivated duplex units with foil strip removed from the drug chamber must be protected from light and used within 7 days at room temperature. Once activated, must be used within 1 hour if stored at room temperature or within 15 hours if stored under refrigeration. Do not freeze.

Dry powder should be stored at controlled room temperature 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).

Injection reconstitution: Stability in vial when constituted (up to 50 mg/mL) with:

SWFI: Stable for up to 3 hours at up to 25°C (77°F) or for up to 13 hours at up to 5°C (41°F).

Infusion admixture (1 to 20 mg/mL): Solution is stable when diluted in NS for 1 hour at up to 25°C (77°F) or 15 hours at up to 5°C (41°F). Solutions constituted with dextrose injection 5% should be used immediately. Note: Meropenem stability (admixed with NS at a concentration of 20 mg/mL) at room temperature for >1 hour or under refrigeration for >15 hours is not supported by the manufacturer. Data exist supporting stability for extended and continuous infusion when admixed with NS at a concentration of 14.3 mg/mL at room temperature for ≤7 hours (Fawaz 2019) and at a concentration of 20 mg/mL under refrigeration for ≤24 hours (Patel 1997). Pharmacokinetic data support the use of an admixture of 10 mg/mL in NS as stable at room temperature for an infusion duration ≤12 hours (Venugopalan 2018).

Duplex container: Following reconstitution/activation, use within 1 hour if stored at room temperature or 15 hours refrigerated

Drug Interactions

BCG (Intravesical): Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of BCG (Intravesical). Avoid combination

BCG Vaccine (Immunization): Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of BCG Vaccine (Immunization). Monitor therapy

Cholera Vaccine: Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Cholera Vaccine. Management: Avoid cholera vaccine in patients receiving systemic antibiotics, and within 14 days following the use of oral or parenteral antibiotics. Avoid combination

Lactobacillus and Estriol: Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Lactobacillus and Estriol. Monitor therapy

Probenecid: May increase the serum concentration of Meropenem. Avoid combination

Sodium Picosulfate: Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Sodium Picosulfate. Management: Consider using an alternative product for bowel cleansing prior to a colonoscopy in patients who have recently used or are concurrently using an antibiotic. Consider therapy modification

Typhoid Vaccine: Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Typhoid Vaccine. Only the live attenuated Ty21a strain is affected. Management: Vaccination with live attenuated typhoid vaccine (Ty21a) should be avoided in patients being treated with systemic antibacterial agents. Use of this vaccine should be postponed until at least 3 days after cessation of antibacterial agents. Consider therapy modification

Valproate Products: Carbapenems may decrease the serum concentration of Valproate Products. Management: Concurrent use of carbapenem antibiotics with valproic acid is generally not recommended. Alternative antimicrobial agents should be considered, but if a concurrent carbapenem is necessary, consider additional anti-seizure medication. Consider therapy modification

Test Interactions

Positive Coombs' [direct]

Adverse Reactions

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Peripheral vascular disease (>1%), shock (1%), bradycardia (≤1%), cardiac arrest (≤1%), cardiac failure (≤1%), chest pain (≤1%), hypertension (≤1%), hypotension (≤1%), myocardial infarction (≤1%), peripheral edema (≤1%), pulmonary embolism (≤1%), syncope (≤1%), tachycardia (≤1%)

Central nervous system: Headache (2% to 8%), pain (≤5%), agitation (≤1%), anxiety (≤1%), chills (≤1%), confusion (≤1%), delirium (≤1%), depression (≤1%), dizziness (≤1%), drowsiness (≤1%), hallucination (≤1%), insomnia (≤1%), nervousness (≤1%), paresthesia (≤1%), seizure (≤1%)

Dermatologic: Skin rash (2% to 3%, includes diaper-area moniliasis in infants), pruritus (1%), dermal ulcer (≤1%), diaphoresis (≤1%), urticaria (≤1%)

Endocrine & metabolic: Hypoglycemia (>1%), hypervolemia (≤1%)

Gastrointestinal: Nausea (≤8%), diarrhea (4% to 7%), constipation (1% to 7%), vomiting (≤4%), oral candidiasis (≤2%), gastrointestinal disease (>1%), glossitis (1%), abdominal pain (≤1%), anorexia (≤1%), dyspepsia (≤1%), enlargement of abdomen (≤1%), flatulence (≤1%), intestinal obstruction (≤1%)

Genitourinary: Dysuria (≤1%), pelvic pain (≤1%), urinary incontinence (≤1%), vulvovaginal candidiasis (≤1%)

Hematologic & oncologic: Anemia (≤6%), hypochromic anemia (≤1%)

Hepatic: Cholestatic jaundice (≤1%), hepatic failure (≤1%), jaundice (≤1%)

Infection: Sepsis (2%)

Local: Inflammation at injection site (2%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Asthenia (≤1%), back pain (≤1%)

Renal: Renal failure (≤1%)

Respiratory: Pharyngitis (>1%), pneumonia (>1%), apnea (1%), asthma (≤1%), cough (≤1%), dyspnea (≤1%), hypoxia (≤1%), pleural effusion (≤1%), pulmonary edema (≤1%), respiratory tract disease (≤1%)

Miscellaneous: Accidental injury (>1%), fever (≤1%)

Frequency not defined:

Endocrine & metabolic: Hypokalemia, increased lactate dehydrogenase

Genitourinary: Hematuria

Hematologic & oncologic: Decreased hematocrit, decreased hemoglobin, decreased partial thromboplastin time, decreased prothrombin time, decreased white blood cell count, eosinophilia, leukocytosis, quantitative disorders of platelets

Hepatic: Increased serum alanine aminotransferase, increased serum alkaline phosphatase, increased serum aspartate aminotransferase, increased serum bilirubin

Renal: Increased blood urea nitrogen, increased serum creatinine

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, agranulocytosis, angioedema, Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile-associated diarrhea, DRESS syndrome, edema at insertion site, epistaxis, erythema multiforme, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, hemoperitoneum, injection site reaction, leukopenia, localized phlebitis, local thrombophlebitis, melena, neutropenia, pain at injection site, positive direct Coombs test, positive indirect Coombs test, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Anaphylaxis/hypersensitivity reactions: Serious hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported (some without a history of previous allergic reactions to beta-lactams).

• CNS effects: Carbapenems have been associated with CNS adverse effects, including confusional states and seizures (myoclonic); use caution with CNS disorders (eg, brain lesions and history of seizures) and adjust dose in renal impairment to avoid drug accumulation, which may increase seizure risk. Outpatient use may result in paresthesias, seizures, delirium and/or headaches that can impair neuromotor function and alertness; patients should not operate machinery or drive until it is established that meropenem is well tolerated.

• Dermatological effects: Severe cutaneous adverse reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms, erythema multiforme, and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis have occurred; discontinue immediately for severe reactions.

• Superinfection: Prolonged use may result in fungal or bacterial superinfection, including C. difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) and pseudomembranous colitis; CDAD has been observed >2 months postantibiotic treatment.

Disease-related concerns:

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; dosage adjustment required in patients with creatinine clearance ≤50 mL/minute. Increased seizure risk and thrombocytopenia have been reported in patients with renal impairment.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions. Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Lower doses (based upon renal function) are often required in the elderly.

Monitoring Parameters

Perform culture and sensitivity testing prior to initiating therapy. Monitor for signs of anaphylaxis during first dose. During prolonged therapy, monitor renal function, liver function, CBC.

Pregnancy Considerations

Incomplete transplacental transfer of meropenem was found using an ex vivo human perfusion model (Hnat 2005).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat bacterial infections.

Frequently reported side effects of this drug

• Headache

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Constipation

Other side effects of this drug: Talk with your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of:

• Seizures

• Muscle rigidity

• Tremors

• Abnormal movements

• Burning or numbness feeling

• Severe loss of strength and energy

• Confusion

• Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff)-associated diarrhea like abdominal pain or cramps, severe diarrhea or watery stools, or bloody stools.

• Signs of a significant reaction like wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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