|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|3-[5-(dimethylcarbamoyl) pyrrolidin-2-yl] sulfanyl-6- (1-hydroxyethyl)-4-methyl-7-oxo- 1-azabicyclo[3.2.0] hept-2-ene-2-carboxylic acid|
|Protein binding||Approximately 2%.|
|(what is this?)|
Meropenem is an ultra-broad-spectrum injectable antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of infections. It is a β-lactam and belongs to the subgroup of carbapenem, similar to imipenem and ertapenem. Meropenem was originally developed by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma. It gained US FDA approval in July 1996. It penetrates well into many tissues and body fluids, including cerebrospinal fluid, bile, heart valve, lung, and peritoneal fluid. It was initially marketed by AstraZeneca under the trade name Merrem, and is now available in many countries as a generic.
Mechanism of action
Meropenem is bactericidal except against Listeria monocytogenes, where it is bacteriostatic. It inhibits bacterial wall synthesis like other β-lactam antibiotics. In contrast to other beta-lactams, it is highly resistant to degradation by β-lactamases or cephalosporinases. In general, resistance arises due to mutations in penicillin-binding proteins, production of metallo-β-lactamases, or resistance to diffusion across the bacterial outer membrane. Unlike imipenem, it is stable to dehydropeptidase-1, so can be given without cilastatin.
The spectrum of action includes many Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (including Pseudomonas) and anaerobic bacteria. The overall spectrum is similar to that of imipenem, although meropenem is more active against Enterobacteriaceae and less active against Gram-positive bacteria. It is also very resistant to extended-spectrum β-lactamases, but may be more susceptible to metallo-β-lactamases. Meropenem is frequently given in the treatment of febrile neutropenia. This condition frequently occurs in patients with hematological malignancies and cancer patients receiving anticancer drugs that cause bone marrow suppression. It is approved for complicated skin and skin structure infections, complicated intra-abdominal infections, and bacterial meningitis.
Meropenem must be administered intravenously. It is supplied as a white crystalline powder to be dissolved in 5% monobasic potassium phosphate solution. Dosing must be adjusted for altered kidney function and for haemofiltration.
Common adverse effects
The most common adverse effects are diarrhea (4.8%), nausea and vomiting (3.6%), injection-site inflammation (2.4%), headache (2.3%), rash (1.9%), and thrombophlebitis (0.9%). Many of these adverse effects were observed in the setting of severely ill individuals already taking many medications including vancomycin. One study showed Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea happened in 3.6% of the patients on meropenem. Meropenem also has a reduced potential for causing seizures in comparison with imipenem. Several cases of severe hypokalemia have been reported.
Other trade names include Merofit (India), Merocil by Pharmacil (Bangladesh), Meronir by Nirlife (India), Merowin by Strides Acrolab (India), PENMER by BIOCON (India), Aktimer by Aktimas Biopharmaceuticals (India), Zwipen, Carbonem, Ronem (Opsonin Pharma, BD), Neomed (India), Mepem (Taiwan), Meropen (Japan, Korea), Merem (Australia), Neopenem, Merocon (Continental), Carnem (Laderly Biotech), Penro (Bosch), Meronem (Germany, ICI Pakistan), Meroza (German Remedies), Merotrol (Lupin), and Meromer by Orchid Chemicals, Mexopen (Samarth life sciences in India) and Pharmaceuticals (India).
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- Creation of Meropenem
- AHFS Drug Information (2006 ed.). American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2006.
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- MERREM I.V. (meropenem for injection) Official Site by AstraZeneca