Meropenem (Intravenous)

Meropenem is injected under the direct supervision of the doctor to fight bacterial infections that are affecting different parts of the body.

Overview

Meropenem is injected into the vein of the patient and should only be administered under the direct supervision of a doctor. The medication works to kill bacteria and in doing so is able to fight and prevent bacterial infections.

As this medication will also kill other bacteria in the body, certain other side effects may also occur from use including discomfort and upset of the stomach and intestinal tract.

Meropenem is administered as a reconstituted powder for solution. It is supplied as Merrem IV.

This medication will not be effective against viral infections including colds or flu.

Serious allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis can occur with the use of this medication. It can also cause seizures and side effects will be worsened in those who have suffered from seizures in the past. You should ensure you understand the risks of use in relation to the benefits before beginning treatment with Meropenem.

Condition treated

  • Bacterial infection

Type Of Medicine

  • Antibacterial

Side Effects

In addition to fighting and preventing bacterial infections in the body, Meropenem may also cause other unwanted side effects to occur. While not all of the following may occur, in cases where these side effects do occur you may need to seek medical attention.

You should contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

Occurring more commonly:

  • Redness and swelling at the injection site

Occurring less commonly:

  • Sweating
  • Skin rash and itching
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Not breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Itching skin
  • Fever
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Chills
  • Bluish lips or skin

Occurring only rarely:

  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Weight gain
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unconsciousness
  • Troubled breathing with exertion
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Stupor
  • Stopping of the heart
  • Slow, irregular heartbeat
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe constipation
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Pale skin
  • Nosebleed
  • No blood pressure or pulse
  • Nausea
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Light-colored stools
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Irregular breathing
  • Hostility
  • Headache
  • Fever with or without chills
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Diarrhea (watery and severe), which may also be bloody
  • Depression
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dark urine
  • Cough
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • Burning while urinating
  • Blurred vision
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Black, bloody, or tarry stools
  • Black, bloody vomit
  • Agitation
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps and severe pain

Frequency of incidence not known:

  • Swollen glands
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • Sore throat
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Red skin lesions that may have a purple spot in the centre
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Large swelling with the appearance of a hive on the: face, tongue, throat, eyelids, hands, legs sex organs or feet
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • General feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • General body swelling
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Chest pain
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • Bleeding gums
  • Back, leg, or stomach pains

Certain other side effects may also occur from the use of Meropenem that are milder and do not normally require that you seek medical attention. These side effects will usually abate over time and do not normally indicate any wider medical problems that may be occurring. You should check with your healthcare professional if these side effects are ongoing or become bothersome, however:

Occurring more commonly:

  • Constipation

Occurring less commonly:

  • Voice changes
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Stomach pain, fullness, or discomfort
  • Sneezing
  • Slurred speech
  • Shakiness
  • Runny nose
  • Redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • Passing of gas
  • Nightmares
  • Indigestion
  • Increased hunger
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Cool pale skin
  • Congestion
  • Cold sweats
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Body aches or pain

Occurring only rarely:

  • White patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Redness of the skin
  • Hives or welts
  • Heartburn
  • Full feeling
  • Excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • Belching
  • Acid or sour stomach

Other side effects may occur from the use of Meropenem that have not been listed herein. If you experience any other side effects then you should inform your doctor. If you believe your immediate health to be at risk, however, then you should always contact the emergency services.

Dosage

This medication needs to be administered by a trained medical professional in a hospital environment. It needs to be injected slowly into one of your veins through a needle. An IV tube will be used for 15-30 minutes until the medication has been administered.

Interactions

Certain medications should not ever be used together. This is because they can interact with one another in the body and cause severe medical problems to occur. In the most serious cases, patients can suffer life-threatening complications from drug interactions. In other cases, medications may prevent one another from working and may increase the side effects experienced.

To avoid drug interactions occurring it is vital that you inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking. This includes all prescribed medications, over the counter treatments, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. For the use of Meropenem injection it is especially important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

The following medications are not normally recommended for use with Meropenem. In some cases, both may be prescribed but the doctor may change the dose or frequency of use of one or both treatments.

  • Cholera Vaccine, Live
  • Valporic Acid

Use of Meropenem with the following medication can increase the risk of certain side effects occurring. The use of both medications may still be your best treatment, however, and your doctor may prescribe both with changes to use:

  • Probenecid

Meropenem may also interact with other medications not listed herein. This list has been compiled for severity only and is not necessarily all-inclusive. Ensure that your doctor is aware of all other medications you are taking before beginning use.

Certain medical problems can also limit the effective use of this medication. This is because some conditions may be worsened by use or may increase the side effects of use. Before taking any medication it is important that you inform your doctor of all other medical conditions from which you suffer. This is especially important in the following cases:

The risk of allergic reaction is increased in patients with:

  • Allergies to penicillin, cephalosporin and other allergens.

The side effects may be worsened in patients with the following:

  • Brain infection caused by bacteria
  • Brain lesion
  • History of seizures

Effects and side effects of Meropenem use may be increased in patients with the following conditions:

  • Kidney disease

Other medical problems could also impact on the use of Meropenem that are not listed herein. You must ensure your doctor knows of your full medical history before beginning treatment.

Warnings

Before beginning treatment with Meropenem, it is important to understand the risks of use in relation to the benefits of use. You should make the decision to begin using this medication with your doctor having considered all of the following factors:

Allergies'You should inform your doctor of any allergies from which you suffer. Allergies to medications, in particular, may prohibit use, especially if you have allergies to penicillin or cephalosporin. Ensure your doctor is aware of any and all allergies that you suffer from.

Pediatric' Studies performed to date have not shown any limitations to the use of this medication in children aged 3 months or more. This medication has been shown to be effective in use.

Geriatric' There are no known limitations to the use of this injected antibacterial in the elderly. There is, however, a higher likelihood of there being other age-related medical problems such as kidney problems that may limit the use of this medication.

Pregnancy' You should inform your doctor if you are pregnant before use. There is a small risk to the unborn infant in using this medication. You should consider this with your doctor before you begin use.

Breastfeeding ' The risks of breastfeeding with this medication are unknown. You should discuss the risks with your doctor before beginning treatment.

You or your child will need to be monitored by the supervising doctor when you are receiving this medication. This will enable the doctor to check that it is working properly and to decide if you should continue use. They will also check for unwanted side effects that could be occurring unbeknownst to you.

Meropenem can cause serious allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis to occur. This is a life-threatening condition that will require immediate medical attention. You must call for your doctor immediately if you begin to experience the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Trouble with breathing
  • Swelling of the hands, face or mouth

Some patients could experience seizures during the use of this treatment. Before use you should inform your doctor of any history of seizures and must inform them if you are taking any form of anticonvulsants before you are treated. Such use would affect treatments they give you in the occurrence of seizures.

Meropenem may cause you to suffer from diarrhea and this may occur any time up to 2 months after your last treatment. You should not take diarrhea medication for the treatment of this as it may make the condition worse and longer lasting. If you have any questions about this you should contact your doctor. If you have diarrhea any time in the 2 months following treatment then contact your doctor.

This medication can cause seizures, headaches, loss of attentiveness, tingling sensations and numbness. You should not ever drive or use machines until you are confident that you will be able to operate these safely without putting yourself or others in any kind of risk.

You should not take any other medication with this treatment unless your doctor has ordered you to. This includes over the counter medications, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.

Storage

Each vial of powder for solution contains 1g.

This product does not have any special requirements for storage. Do not freeze the reconstituted solution.

Summary

Meropenem is an antibacterial injection that is used for the treatment of infections in the body. Commonly it is used to treat complicated skin infections.

The medication is injected into the vein of the patient through intravenous drip and is administered over a period of 15-30 minutes. Patients will need to be treated in a hospital environment under the direct supervision of a doctor.

This medication can cause a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis to occur as well as other serious unwanted side effects. Before beginning treatment with this medication, it is important that the patient fully understands the risks of use and has weighed these against the benefits of use. Meropenem can also cause seizures to occur and side effects may be worsened in patients who have a history of seizures or who are being treated with anticonvulsant medications.

You should not take any other medications at the same time as Meropenem unless they have been expressly approved by the prescribing doctor. To do so may expose you to a risk of medication interactions and further complications.