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Drugs reference index «Imipenem-Cilastatin»


Imipenem - Cilastatin

Pronunciation: (ih-mih-PEN-em-SIGH-luh-STAT-in)Class: Carbapenem

Trade Names:Primaxin IV- Powder for Injection 250 mg imipenem equivalent and 250 mg cilastatin equivalent. Contains 0.8 mEq sodium.- Powder for Injection 500 mg imipenem equivalent and 500 mg cilastatin equivalent. Contains 1.6 mEq sodium.

Trade Names:Primaxin IM- Powder for Injection 500 mg imipenem equivalent and 500 mg cilastatin equivalent. Contains 1.4 mEq sodium.


Imipenem inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis. Cilastatin prevents metabolism of imipenem, resulting in increased urinary recovery and decreased renal toxicity.

Indications and Usage

Treatment of serious infections of lower respiratory tract and urinary tract, intra-abdominal and gynecologic infections, bacterial septicemia, bone and joint infections, skin and skin structure infections, endocarditis, and polymicrobic infections due to susceptible microorganisms.


IM use with hypersensitivity to local anesthetics of amide type or with severe shock or heart block.

IV use with patients with meningitis (safety and efficacy have not been established).

Dosage and Administration


IV 125, 250, or 500 mg dose over 20 to 30 min. Infuse a 750 mg or 1 g dose over 40 to 60 min. If nausea develops, slow the infusion rate. Max: 50 mg/kg/day or 4 g/day, whichever is lower.


IM 500 to 750 mg every 12 h. Max: 1,500 mg/day.

Children less than 40 kg

IM 60 mg/kg/day.

Children at least 40 kg

IM Adult dose.

Premature Infants (at least 36 wk Gestational Age)

IM 20 mg/kg every 12 h.

General Advice

  • For IV administration, reconstitute with 100 mL of compatible diluent. Shake until suspension is clear; add suspension to 100 mL of appropriate infusion solution. Then add 10 mL of infusion to vial; shake well to ensure that all medication is used and transfer resulting suspension to infusion solution. Color of solution may range from colorless to yellow. Solution is stable for 4 h at room temperature and for 24 h when refrigerated. Do not administer if solution is cloudy.
  • Do not mix with or physically add to antibiotics. However, it may be administered concomitantly with other antibiotics (eg, aminoglycosides).
  • Do not use IM preparation for IV administration.
  • For IM administration, prepare with 1% lidocaine HCl solution (without epinephrine). Prepare 500 mg vial with 2 mL and 750 mg vial with 3 mL of lidocaine. Agitate to form suspension. Color of solution may range from white to light tan. Withdraw and inject entire contents of vial IM. Use within 1 h of preparation.


Store unreconstituted powder at or below 77°F.

Drug Interactions


CNS side effects (eg, myoclonia, seizures) may be increased.


Generalized seizures may occur; avoid use.


Minimal increases in imipenem levels and half-life; do not give probenecid concurrently.


Do not physically mix imipenem-cilastatin with other antibiotics.

Laboratory Test Interactions

May cause positive Coombs test results.

Adverse Reactions


Hypotension; palpitations; tachycardia; phlebitis; thrombophlebitis.




Nausea; diarrhea; vomiting; pseudomembranous colitis; hemorrhagic colitis; hepatitis.


Presence of RBCs, WBCs, casts, and bacteria in urine; increased BUN and creatinine.


Decreased Hgb and Hct; eosinophilia; increased or decreased WBCs and platelets; decreased erythrocytes.


Increased AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin.


Pain at injection site.



Category C .




Safety and efficacy in children younger than 12 yr of age are not established with IM use. IV use in newborns to 16 yr of age (with non-CNS infections) is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies. IV use is not recommended in pediatric patients with CNS infections because of the risk of seizures, or in pediatric patients less than 30 kg with impaired renal function as no data are available.


Administer drug with caution to penicillin-sensitive patients due to possible cross-activity.

Renal Function

Dosage reduction or alteration of dosage interval is required.


May result in bacterial or fungal overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms.

Benzyl alcohol

Benzyl alcohol as a preservative has been associated with toxicity in newborns, especially those younger than 3 mo. Do not use diluents containing benzyl alcohol when IV is constituted for administration to pediatric patients.


IV administration may result in myoclonic activity confusional states or seizures.

Pseudomembranous colitis

Consider possibility in patients with diarrhea.




Patient Information

  • Instruct patient to report the following to health care provider: itching; rash; hives; difficulty breathing; diarrhea; black “furry” tongue; loose, foul-smelling stools; vaginal itching or discharge.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

  • Primaxin IM Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Primaxin IM MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Primaxin IM Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Primaxin IM Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Primaxin IV Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Primaxin IV MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

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