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Aztreonam. (The four-membered ring at the bottom is the β-lactam. There is a second thiazole ring, but it is not fused to the β-lactam ring.)

Monobactams are β-lactam compounds wherein the β-lactam ring is alone and not fused to another ring, in contrast to most other β-lactams. They are effective only against aerobic Gram-negative bacteria (e.g., Neisseria, Pseudomonas).

Currently the only commercially available monobactam antibiotic is aztreonam.

Other examples of monobactams are tigemonam,[1] nocardicin A, and tabtoxin.

Adverse effects to monobactams can include skin rash and occasional abnormal liver functions.

They have no cross-hypersensitivity reactions with penicillin but like penicillins can trigger seizures in patients with history of seizures.


  1. ^ Fuchs PC, Jones RN, Barry AL (March 1988). "In vitro antimicrobial activity of tigemonam, a new orally administered monobactam". Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 32 (3): 346–9. doi:10.1128/aac.32.3.346. PMC 172173free to read. PMID 3259122. 

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