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Merrem Side Effects

Generic name: meropenem

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 9, 2024.

Note: This document contains side effect information about meropenem. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Merrem.

Applies to meropenem: intravenous powder for solution.

Serious side effects of Merrem

Along with its needed effects, meropenem (the active ingredient contained in Merrem) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking meropenem:

Less common


Incidence not known

Other side effects of Merrem

Some side effects of meropenem may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common


For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to meropenem: intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution.


In clinical trials (n=2904), this drug was discontinued in 1.2% of patients due to side effects; 5 deaths were possibly drug-related. In a review of 4872 patients, diarrhea, rash, nausea/vomiting, injection site inflammation, thrombocytosis and increased hepatic enzymes were reported most often.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, gastrointestinal disorder, abdominal pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Oral moniliasis/candidiasis, flatulence, ileus, dyspepsia, intestinal obstruction

Frequency not reported: Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, antibiotic-associated colitis, pseudomembranous colitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dizziness, seizure, paresthesia, somnolence, syncope, asthenia

Frequency not reported: Hearing loss, other adverse central nervous system (CNS) experiences[Ref]

Seizures and other adverse CNS experiences have been reported. They have occurred most commonly in patients with CNS disorders (e.g., history of seizures, brain lesions) or with bacterial meningitis and/or renal dysfunction.

Seizures occurred more often in patients with moderately severe renal dysfunction.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anemia, hypochromic anemia, bleeding events (including gastrointestinal hemorrhage, melena, epistaxis, hemoperitoneum), thrombocythemia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased platelets, increased eosinophils, decreased platelets, decreased hemoglobin, decreased hematocrit, decreased white blood cells, decreased prothrombin time, decreased partial thromboplastin time, leukocytosis, eosinophilia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, neutropenia

Postmarketing reports: Agranulocytosis, positive Coombs test (direct or indirect), hemolytic anemia[Ref]


Shock occurred more often in patients with moderately severe renal dysfunction.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Pain, inflammation, sepsis/septicemia, shock, accidental injury

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chest pain, fever, back pain, chills, pelvic pain, peripheral edema, abdominal enlargement[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Inflammation at the injection site, phlebitis/thrombophlebitis, pain at the injection site

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site reactions, edema at the injection site[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash (including diaper/nappy area moniliasis), pruritus

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urticaria, sweating, skin ulcer

Postmarketing reports: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, angioedema, erythema multiforme, severe skin reactions[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Apnea, pharyngitis, pneumonia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Respiratory disorder, dyspnea, pleural effusion, asthma, increased cough, hypoxia, lung edema

Frequency not reported: Respiratory failure[Ref]


Heart failure occurred more often in patients with moderately severe renal dysfunction.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Peripheral vascular disorder

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Heart failure, heart arrest, tachycardia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolus, bradycardia, hypotension[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased transaminases

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased AST, increased ALT, increased bilirubin, hepatic failure, cholestatic jaundice/jaundice[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypoglycemia, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased lactate dehydrogenase

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anorexia, hypervolemia, hypokalemia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Kidney failure, increased creatinine, increased BUN[Ref]

Kidney failure occurred more often in patients with moderately severe renal dysfunction.[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Insomnia, agitation/delirium, confusion, nervousness, hallucinations, anxiety, depression


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysuria, vaginal moniliasis/candidiasis, urinary incontinence, red blood cells in urine[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Serum sickness-like reactions, cross-sensitivity in penicillin-allergic and cephalosporin-allergic patients, anaphylaxis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myalgia, arthralgia[Ref]


1. (2001) "Product Information. Merrem (meropenem)." Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information."

3. Bax RP, Bastain W, Featherstone A, Wilkinson DM, Hutchison M, Haworth SJ (1989) "The pharmacokinetics of meropenem in volunteers." J Antimicrob Chemother, 24(suppl a, p. 311-20

4. Kempf P, Bauernfeind A, Muller A, Blum J (1996) "Meropenem monotherapy versus cefotaxime plus metronidazole combination treatment for serious intra-abdominal infections." Infection, 24, p. 473-9

5. Hemsell DL, Martens MG, Faro S, Gall S, Mcgregor JA (1997) "A multicenter study comparing intravenous meropenem with clindamycin plus gentamicin for the treatment of acute gynecologic and obstetric pelvic infections in hospitalized women." Clin Infect Dis, 24 ( Suppl, s222-30

6. Shah PM, Heller A, Fuhr HG, Walther F, Halir S, Schaumann R, Bohme A, Jung B, Kohler A, Lipsschulte C, Stille W (1996) "Empirical monotherapy with meropenem versus imipenem/cilastatin for febrile episodes in neutropenic patients." Infection, 24, p. 480-4

7. Wilson SE (1997) "Results of a randomized, multicenter trial of meropenem versus clindamycin/tobramycin for the treatment of intra-abdominal infections." Clin Infect Dis, 24 Suppl 2, s197-206

8. Jaspers CAJJ, Kieft H, Speelberg B, Buiting A, Kooij MV, Ruys GJHM, Vincent HH, Vermeulen MCA, Olink AG, Hoepelman IM (1998) "Meropenem versus cefuroxime plus gentamicin for treatment of serious infections in elderly patients." Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 42, p. 1233-8

9. Embil JM, Soto NE, Melnick DA (2006) "A post hoc subgroup analysis of meropenem versus imipenem/cilastatin in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized study of complicated skin and skin-structure infections in patients with diabetes mellitus." Clin Ther, 28, p. 1164-74

10. Zhanel GG, Wiebe R, Dilay L, et al. (2007) "Comparative Review of the Carbapenems." Drugs, 67, p. 1027-1052

11. Baldwin CM, Lyseng-Williamson KA, Keam SJ (2008) "Meropenem : a review of its use in the treatment of serious bacterial infections." Drugs, 68, p. 803-38

12. Nilsson-Ehle I, Hutchison M, Haworth SJ, Norrby SR (1991) "Pharmacokinetics of meropenem compared to imipenem-cilastatin in young, healthy males." Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis, 10, p. 85-8

13. Mouton YJ, Beuscart C (1995) "Empirical monotherapy with meropenem in serious bacterial infections. Meropenem Study Group." J Antimicrob Chemother, 36(suppl a, p. 145-56

14. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics."

15. Huizinga WK, Warren BL, Baker LW, Valleur P, Pezet DM, Hoogkamp-Korstanjep JA, Karran SJ (1995) "Antibiotic monotherapy with meropenem in the surgical management of intra-abdominal infections." J Antimicrob Chemother, 36(suppl a, p. 179-89

16. Byrne S, Maddison J, Connor P, Doughty I, Dodd M, Jenney M, Webb AK, David TJ (1995) "Clinical evaluation of meropenem versus ceftazidime for the treatment of Pseudomonas spp. infections in cystic fibrosis patients." J Antimicrob Chemother, 36(suppl a, p. 135-43

17. Hamacher J, Vogel F, Lichey J, Kohl FV, Diwok K, Wendel H, Lode H (1995) "Treatment of acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in hospitalised patients--a comparison of meropenem and imipenem/cilastatin. COPD Study Group." J Antimicrob Chemother, 36(suppl a, p. 121-33

18. Liu TJ, Lam JP (2012) "Piperacillin-tazobactam-induced acute interstitial nephritis with possible meropenem cross-sensitivity in a patient with osteomyelitis." Am J Health Syst Pharm, 69, p. 1109

19. Paquet P, Jacob E, Damas P, Pierard GE (2002) "Recurrent fatal drug-induced toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell's syndrome) after putative beta-lactam cross-reactivity: Case report and scrutiny of antibiotic imputability." Crit Care Med, 30, p. 2580-3

20. Ralph ED, John M, Rieder MJ, Bombassaro AM (2003) "Serum Sickness-like Reaction Possibly Associated with Meropenem Use." Clin Infect Dis, 36, E149-E151

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.