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Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.com Micromedex Detailed Consumer Information
Routes of
ATC code
Pharmacokinetic data
Excretion Renal (76%)
CAS Number
PubChem CID
ECHA InfoCard 100.046.975 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Formula C22H29N3O6S
Molar mass 463.548 g/mol
3D model (JSmol)
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Pivampicillin is a pivaloyloxymethyl ester of ampicillin. It is a prodrug, which is thought to enhance the oral bioavailability of ampicillin because of its greater lipophilicity compared to that of ampicillin.

Adverse effects[edit]

Prodrugs that release pivalic acid when broken down by the body—such as pivampicillin, pivmecillinam and cefditoren pivoxil—have long been known to deplete levels of carnitine.[1][2] This is not due to the drug itself, but to pivalate, which is mostly removed from the body by forming a conjugate with carnitine. Although short-term use of these drugs can cause a marked decrease in blood levels of carnitine,[3] it is unlikely to be of clinical significance;[2] long-term use, however, appears problematic and is not recommended.[2][4][5]


Worldwide, pivampicillin is only available in Denmark, where it is sold as Pondocillin® by PharmaCoDane, or Miraxid® by LEO Pharma.[6]


  1. ^ Holme E, Greter J, Jacobson CE, et al. (August 1989). "Carnitine deficiency induced by pivampicillin and pivmecillinam therapy". Lancet. 2 (8661): 469–73. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(89)92086-2. PMID 2570185. 
  2. ^ a b c Brass EP (December 2002). "Pivalate-generating prodrugs and carnitine homeostasis in man". Pharmacol Rev. 54 (4): 589–98. doi:10.1124/pr.54.4.589. PMID 12429869. 
  3. ^ Abrahamsson K, Holme E, Jodal U, Lindstedt S, Nordin I (June 1995). "Effect of short-term treatment with pivalic acid containing antibiotics on serum carnitine concentration—a risk irrespective of age". Biochem. Mol. Med. 55 (1): 77–9. doi:10.1006/bmme.1995.1036. PMID 7551831. 
  4. ^ Holme E, Jodal U, Linstedt S, Nordin I (September 1992). "Effects of pivalic acid-containing prodrugs on carnitine homeostasis and on response to fasting in children". Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 52 (5): 361–72. doi:10.3109/00365519209088371. PMID 1514015. 
  5. ^ Makino Y, Sugiura T, Ito T, Sugiyama N, Koyama N (September 2007). "Carnitine-associated encephalopathy caused by long-term treatment with an antibiotic containing pivalic acid". Pediatrics. 120 (3): e739–41. doi:10.1542/peds.2007-0339. PMID 17724113. 
  6. ^ "Pondocillin®". Retrieved 2016-09-18.