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Ceftazidime and avibactam.svg
Combination of
CeftazidimeCephalosporin antibiotic
Avibactamβ-lactamase inhibitor
Clinical data
Trade namesAvycaz, Zavicefta, others[1]
License data
  • AU: B3
Routes of
Intravenous infusion
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • AU: S4 (Prescription only)
  • US: ℞-only
  • EU: Rx-only
CAS Number
PubChem CID
 ☒NcheckY (what is this?)

Ceftazidime/avibactam, sold under the brand name Avycaz among others, is a fixed-dose combination medication composed of ceftazidime, a cephalosporin antibiotic, and avibactam, a β-lactamase inhibitor.[2] It is used to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia.[2][3] It is only recommended when other options are not appropriate.[2] It is given by injection into a vein.[2]

Common side effect include nausea, fever, liver problems, headache, trouble sleeping, and pain at the site of injection.[2] Severe side effects may include anaphylaxis, seizures, and Clostridioides difficile-associated diarrhea.[2] While use appears to be safe in pregnancy the medication has not been well studied in this group.[4] Doses should be adjusted in those with kidney problems.[5] Ceftazidime works by interfering with the building of the bacterial cell wall while avibactam works by preventing ceftazidime's breakdown.[2]

The combination was approved for medical use in the United States and the European Union in 2015.[2][3] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[6] Resistances are increasingly been reported with United States, Greece and Italy accounting for 80% of cases.[7]

Medical use[edit]

Ceftazidime/avibactam is used to treat certain multidrug-resistant gram-negative infections.[8]

Ceftazidime/avibactam is used for the treatment of:

Bacterial activity[edit]

For many bacterial infections, it offers little or no advantage over ceftazidime monotherapy, due to the widespread expression of resistance mechanisms other than β-lactamase production. These include Haemophilus, Moraxella and Neisseria pathogens, and infections caused by Acinectobacter baumannii.[8]

The antibacterial spectrum of ceftazidime/avibactam includes nearly all Enterobacteriaceae, including ceftazidime-resistant strains. The activity of ceftazidime/avibactam against the important hospital pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is variable, due to the potential presence of other resistance mechanisms in addition to β-lactamase production. Synergy was observed for avibactam with ceftazidime in the Burkholderia cepacia complex.[10]

Adverse events[edit]

When used to treat life-threatening infections, ceftazidime/avibactam is more likely than carbapenem antibiotics to cause serious adverse events, including worsening kidney function and gastrointestinal adverse effects.[11]

Mechanism of action[edit]

Bacterial resistance to cephalosporins is often due to bacterial production of β-lactamase enzymes that deactivate these antibiotics. Avibactam inhibits some (but not all) bacterial β-lactamases. Also, some bacteria are resistant to cephalosporins by other mechanisms, and therefore avibactam doesn't work. Avibactam is not active against New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1).[12] Avibactam inhibits Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemases (KPCs), and AmpC-type β-lactamases, which are resistant to the other clinically-available β-lactamases, tazobactam and clavulanic acid.[13]


It was granted approval for marketing in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2015.[14] It was granted approval for marketing in Europe by the European Medicines Agency in 2016. During its clinical development, ceftazidime/avibactam was designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product under the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now provision of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.[15][16] Development of ceftazidime/avibactam was fast-tracked by the FDA due to the shortage of drugs for treatment of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Briefing package: ceftazidime-avibactam. Anti-infective drugs advisory committee meeting" (PDF). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ceftazidime and Avibactam Sodium Monograph for Professionals". Drugs.com. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Application for inclusion of ceftazidime-avibactam" (PDF). WHO. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Avibactam / ceftazidime (Avycaz) Use During Pregnancy". Drugs.com. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b Mosley JF, 2nd; Smith, LL; Parke, CK; Brown, JA; Wilson, AL; Gibbs, LV (August 2016). "Ceftazidime-Avibactam (Avycaz): For the Treatment of Complicated Intra-Abdominal and Urinary Tract Infections". Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 41 (8): 479–83. PMC 4959616. PMID 27504064.
  6. ^ World Health Organization (2019). World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. hdl:10665/325771. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  7. ^ Di Bella, Stefano; Giacobbe, Daniele Roberto; Maraolo, Alberto Enrico; Viaggi, Valentina; Luzzati, Roberto; Bassetti, Matteo; Luzzaro, Francesco; Principe, Luigi (June 2021). "Resistance to ceftazidime/avibactam in infections and colonisations by KPC-producing Enterobacterales: a systematic review of observational clinical studies". Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. 25: 268–281. doi:10.1016/j.jgar.2021.04.001. hdl:11368/2990131. PMID 33895414. S2CID 233399477.
  8. ^ a b Lagacé-Wiens P, Walkty A, Karlowsky JA (2014). "Ceftazidime-avibactam: an evidence-based review of its pharmacology and potential use in the treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections". Core Evid. 9: 13–25. doi:10.2147/CE.S40698. PMC 3908787. PMID 24493994.
  9. ^ https://www.allergan.com/assets/pdf/avycaz_pi[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ Mushtaq S, Warner M, Livermore DM (2010). "In vitro activity of ceftazidime+NXL104 against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other non-fermenters". J Antimicrob Chemother. 65 (11): 2376–2381. doi:10.1093/jac/dkq306. PMID 20801783.
  11. ^ Sternbach N, Leibovici Weissman Y, Avni T, Yahav D (August 2018). "Efficacy and safety of ceftazidime/avibactam: a systematic review and meta-analysis". J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 73 (8): 2021–2029. doi:10.1093/jac/dky124. PMID 29659836.
  12. ^ Lohans CT, Brem J, Schofield CJ (December 2017). "New Delhi Metallo-β-Lactamase 1 Catalyzes Avibactam and Aztreonam Hydrolysis". Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 61 (12). doi:10.1128/AAC.01224-17. PMC 5700305. PMID 28971873.
  13. ^ "Clinical Review, NDA 206494, Ceftazidime-avibactam" (PDF). Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2015-02-18.
  14. ^ "AVYCAZ (ceftazidime-avibactam) approval letter" (PDF). Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2015-02-25. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "FDA approves new antibacterial drug Avycaz" (Press release). Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  16. ^ "FDA clears Actavis' combination antibacterial Avycaz". FirstWord Pharma. Retrieved 2015-11-16.

External links[edit]