Why is this medication prescribed?
Meropenem injection is used to treat skin and abdominal (stomach area) infections caused by bacteria and meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord) in adults and children 3 months of age and older. Meropenem injection is in a class of medications called antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria that cause infection.
Antibiotics such as meropenem injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
How should this medicine be used?
Meropenem injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein). It is usually given every 8 hours. The length of treatment depends on your general health, the type of infection you have, and how well you respond to the medication. Your doctor will tell you how long to use meropenem injection. After your condition improves, your doctor may switch you to another antibiotic that you can take by mouth to complete your treatment.
You may receive meropenem injection in a hospital, or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving meropenem injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with meropenem injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Use meropenem injection until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using meropenem injection too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using meropenem injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to meropenem, other carbapenem antibiotics such as doripenem (Doribax), ertapenem (Invanz), or imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin); cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefuroxime (Ceftin, Zinacef), and cephalexin (Keflex); other beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox); any other medications, or any of the ingredients in meropenem injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention probenecid (Probalan, in Col-Probenecid) and valproic acid (Depakene). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures, brain lesions, or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving meropenem injection, call your doctor.
- you should know that meropenem injection may affect mental alertness. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Meropenem injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site
- tingling or pricking sensation
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- sores in the mouth or throat
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using meropenem injection and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- pale skin
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- a return of fever or other signs of infection
Meropenem injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to meropenem injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.