Doripenem (Intravenous)

Preventing the growth of undesirable bacteria in the body is how doripenem combats infections around the body, often at locations in the organs of the body.

Overview

Doripenem is a medication delivered intravenously, and it is used to fight serious infections in the body, very often when those infections are centered in one or more organs. It is actually manufactured as a whitish or yellowish powder, and must be combined with a diluent before being administered as a patient. The intravenous introduction of this medication can be done in a clinical setting such as a hospital, or at the patient's home, provided that all necessary instruction has been absorbed by the patient, regarding proper procedures.

It is necessary to inject doripenem very slowly, most often over the course of an hour, and dosages should be administered eight hours apart or more, although your doctor's recommendation will be best for deciding the best interval for you. The precise dosage required to fight the indicated infection will generally depend on what is being treated, as well as the patient's response to the medication.

Preparation of this drug is very important, since it must be mixed with a diluent prior to usage, so that makes it extremely necessary for a patient to thoroughly understand all relevant instructions regarding storage, preparation, and self-administration procedures. Even the proper disposal of unused medicine, needles, tubing, etc. should be addressed seriously, and with proper focus on the part of the patient.

Condition Treated

Fight infections, commonly in the kidneys, stomach, and liver

Type Of Medicine

Antibiotic

Side Effects

Whenever you are starting a new medication such as doripenem, it is advisable to always look for any signs of undesirable side effects which may be triggered by usage of the medication. One of the most prominent side effects to be looking for is an allergic reaction to the drug, and this can be identified by some very pronounced symptoms which may appear immediately after usage. A patient who is allergic to this drug will often exhibit

  • Hives or rashes which were not there before
  • Tightness in the chest, or severe difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • One of the most obvious symptoms is a noticeable swelling, which occurs in the facial area, generally in the tongue, lips, and throat.

If any of these symptoms appear after using doripenem, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible, because there is a potential for these symptoms to become much worse.

Another side effect which could potentially occur is a redness, swelling, or severe pain at the site of an injection, due to irritation from the medicine delivery process. It's also possible for a doripenem patient to experience persistent nausea and possibly vomiting, headaches, or diarrhea.

Here are some other side effects considered serious enough that you should contact your doctor right away if signs of these side effects appear, or if they become uncomfortable enough that you feel medical attention is necessary:

  • Unusual and unexplained fatigue or tiredness
  • Skin which is very pale, seemingly with all blood drained away
  • Oral thrush
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Severe stomach pains or cramps
  • Abdominal pains
  • Blood in the stool
  • Mucus in the stool.

Doripenem has the potential to cause a fairly severe condition centering in the intestines which is known as clostridium difficile, which can occur because a certain strain of bacteria puts up a powerful resistance to the medication. This can even happen weeks or months after a patient has stopped using doripenem. If this occurs, you should contact your doctor, and in the meantime do not use any anti-diarrhea medicines or other over-the-counter drugs to manage pain from this condition, because all of those may have the effect of exacerbating the symptoms, and making the problem worse.

Dosage

Doripenem is most commonly prescribed for a patient over a period lasting between five days and two weeks, and the time variance depends on exactly what kind of condition is being treated. For some patients, after an initial period of IV injection with doripenem, they are switched over to an oral tablet form of antibiotic. If your symptoms begin to be managed much better during treatment and you start to feel better, you should still use the entire amount of doripeneim prescribed by your doctor.

As with all antibiotics, skipping doses or discontinuing medication usage before the full time has expired may actually elevate the risk of infection, because it can develop a resistance to antibiotics. If you are self-administering this medication at home, and have understood all the necessary preparation instructions, you can mix doripenem with its associated diluent and store it at room temperature if it is to be administered within four hours.

Interactions

There are some medications which are known to interact with doripenem, and they should be avoided so as not to cause any complications with your own program of treatment. In order to be sure you are not taking any drugs which conflict with doripenem, it is highly advisable to prepare a full list of all other medications you are currently taking.

This should include other prescription medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, and all over-the-counter drugs which you may be currently using. Your doctor will be able to review the list of these medications and the dosages of each that you take, and make a determination whether or not they will impact your usage of doripenem.

The same listing of medications and dosages will be useful to have on hand whenever you need to make an unplanned trip to a healthcare clinic or emergency room, where your primary care doctor will not be in residence. Any doctor treating you can review this list of medications and will then be able to safely prescribe treatment for whatever condition brought you to the clinic in the first place.

While doripenem does not interact with a great number of other drugs, there are some other drugs which you should be careful with because of the potential for interaction. Almost any other antibiotic has the potential of interacting with doripenem, and may cause severe and persistent diarrhea. Two other drugs are known to have a pronounced interaction with doripenem - probenecid and valproic acid.

Warnings

When considering a program of treatment with doripenem, there are a few cautions which should be taken into account and considered before the medication can be used safely by a patient. The first warning regarding usage of this medication is that it should not be used by anyone who is allergic to meropenem, imipenem, ertapenem, or doripenem itself.

It should also not be used by any patients who have a history of

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart problems or stroke
  • Experience with seizures or convulsions in the past
  • Allergic reaction to antibiotics classified as penicillin-type, including all of the following: Augmentin, Amoxil, Bactocill, Ticar, Bicillin L-A Dycill, Principen, Moxatag, Omnipen, Pfizerpen, Unasyn, PC Pen VK, and Timentin.

There are no known reports of problems being passed on to infants from patients using doripenem, although this does not necessarily mean the medication is entirely safe for unborn infants. It is best to discuss with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while being treated with doripenem.

There are also no known reports of issues being passed on to nursing infants from mothers being treated with doripenem. It is currently unknown whether or not doripenem is passed on to infants through breast milk, so this is another area which should be discussed with your doctor before proceeding.

Doripenem may cause some live vaccines to be much less effective than they would normally be, so it is not advisable to receive any such vaccines while you are taking this medication, unless instructed by your physician to do so.

Since this medication is normally evacuated from the body through urination, it will stay in the body much longer when the kidneys are damaged or in any way compromised from an efficiency standpoint. Older patients in particular may be impacted by this, because kidney function typically becomes less efficient as we grow older. The result of this situation is that the drug remains in the body longer, and a much greater chance of experiencing some of its side effects will occur.

Storage

When you are normally being treated with doripenem in a clinical setting, it will not be necessary for you to worry about storage procedures, because that will be handled by medical professionals at the clinic. However, if you are self-administering at home, you must have an understanding of how this medication should be stored, so as to ensure it stays effective and usable.

If it is to be stored beyond four hours, it must be refrigerated but not frozen. If the diluent mixture is 5% dextrose, no more than four hours of room temperature storage can be tolerated, but if the infusion solution is normal saline, then 12 hours of room temperature storage is allowable. When the infusion solution is at 5% dextrose, the medication can be stored safely in a refrigerator for 24 hours, and that time frame jumps to 72 hours when the infusion solution is saline. Since there are no preservatives in this medication, it must be discarded if not used during the indicated time frame.

Summary

Doripenem is an antibiotic which is most often used in the treatement of bacterial infections which impact the kidneys, liver, stomach, and bladder. Since it is an antibiotic, it will also have the potential to trigger some unwanted side effects like diarrhea and possibly even an allergic reaction. Any such side effects need to be reported as soon as possible to your doctor.

This is an injectable medication which may be administered in a hospital setting, a clinic, or at home. When the patient administers the medication at home, he/she must thoroughly understand the whole intravenous delivery process, the proper use of needles, tubing, etc. and the appropriate disposal procedures for all these materials. The injection site on the body should be carefully watched for signs of irritation or swelling.

Doripenem does not interact with many other drugs, although if you are taking other antibiotics, there would be a potential for interactions between them and doripenem.