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Combination of
Piperacillin Ureidopenicillin antibiotic
Tazobactam Beta-lactamase inhibitor
Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.com Monograph
MedlinePlus a694003
  • US: B (No risk in non-human studies)
Routes of
Intravenous infusion
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
CAS Number
PubChem CID
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Piperacillin/tazobactam is a combination antibiotic containing the extended-spectrum penicillin antibiotic piperacillin and the β-lactamase inhibitor tazobactam. It is commercially available as Tazocin and Zosyn as well as a generic drug. The combination has activity against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[1]

Medical uses[edit]

Its main uses are in intensive care medicine (pneumonia, peritonitis), some diabetes-related foot infections, and empirical therapy in febrile neutropenia (e.g., after chemotherapy). The drug is administered intravenously every 6 or 8 hr, typically over 3-30 min. It may also be administered by continuous infusion over four hours. Prolonged infusions are thought to maximize the time that serum concentrations are above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the bacteria implicated in infection.

Piperacillin-tazobactam is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as first line therapy for the treatment of bloodstream infections in neutropenic cancer patients.[2]

Adverse reactions[edit]

The most common adverse reaction is diarrhea (7% to 11%).[3] One study showed Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea happened in 4.9% of the patients on piperacillin/tazobactam.[4] One other side effect is inhibition of platelets (thrombocytopenia).[5]

Society and culture[edit]

Trade names[edit]

Apart from Tazocin and Zosyn, the drug is marketed in various countries under other trade names such as Tazact, Biopiper TZ, Brodactam, Piptaz, Maxitaz, Kilbac, Trezora, Du-Tazop, Tazopen, Sytaz, and Inzalin TZ.

2017 shortage[edit]

Various sources have referred to a shortage of the drug since May 2017, citing various reasons, including an earthquake in China and other issues at the major production facility in 海正 (Hisun); increased demand; withdrawal of funding by a major pharmaceutical company. [6] [7]


  1. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (20th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. March 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Neutropenic Sepsis: Prevention and Management of Neutropenic Sepsis in Cancer Patients - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health". 
  3. ^ "Piperacillin and Tazobactam Sodium". Merck Manual Professional. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ Yeung, EYH; Gore JG; Auersperg EV (2012). "A Retrospective Analysis of the Incidence of Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea with Meropenem and Piperacillin-tazobactam" (PDF). International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health. 4 (8): 1567–1576. 
  5. ^ Rousan TA, Aldoss IT, Cowley BD Jr, Curtis BR, Bougie DW, Aster RH, George JN (January 2010). "Recurrent acute thrombocytopenia in the hospitalized patient: Sepsis, DIC, HIT, or antibiotic-induced thrombocytopenia". 85 (1): 71–74. PMC 4410979Freely accessible. PMID 19802882. doi:10.1002/ajh.21536. 
  6. ^ "Drug Shortages › Piperacillin Tazobactam Injection". Drugs.com. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Major shortage forces doctors to ration important antibiotic". RT.com. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.