Amanda Turkiewicz

Meropenem

Merrem bottleWhy is this medication prescribed?
Meropenem (Merrem®) is a broad-spectrum intravenous (IV) antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics called carbapenems.  In CF, meropenem is used to treat lung infections caused by specific bacteria - for example Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

How does this medication work?
Meropenem works by decreasing the amount of bacteria in the lungs.

What is the usual dose?
The usual meropenem dose for adults with CF is 2 grams every eight hours by IV infusion.

How should this medication be taken?
It is important that you receive meropenem on a regular schedule because the drug works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. The treatment usually lasts 10 to 14 days, however, your doctor may decide that you require a longer treatment.

It is possible that your treatment could be finished at home. If you finish therapy at home, meropenem should be given by someone trained to administer IV medications. Sometimes you or a family member can be taught to administer IV antibiotics.

If the IV bags are to be kept in the fridge, take the IV bag for the next dose out of the fridge one hour before the dose is due and let it warm to room temperature.

You must complete your treatment of antibiotics. Do not stop unless your doctor tells you to.

What should I do if I miss a dose?
Do not double any dose. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose.

What should I expect from this medication?
You may or may not experience side effects. These side effects may disappear but let your doctor know if they are severe or if they last for more than 2 days. These include headache, nausea, diarrhea, and pain at the site of the injection, but tell us if you have any other side effects as well.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience rash, hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, throat or lips.

Precautions
If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, talk to your doctor before starting any antibiotics.

Meropenem has been shown to interact with probenecid and valproic acid. It is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows what other medications you are taking.