AZACTAM- aztreonam injection, powder, for solution
Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of AZACTAM® and other antibacterial drugs, AZACTAM should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.


AZACTAM® (aztreonam for injection, USP) contains the active ingredient aztreonam, a monobactam. It was originally isolated from Chromobacterium violaceum. It is a synthetic bactericidal antibiotic.

The monobactams, having a unique monocyclic beta-lactam nucleus, are structurally different from other beta-lactam antibiotics (eg, penicillins, cephalosporins, cephamycins). The sulfonic acid substituent in the 1-position of the ring activates the beta-lactam moiety; an aminothiazolyl oxime side chain in the 3-position and a methyl group in the 4-position confer the specific antibacterial spectrum and beta-lactamase stability.

Aztreonam is designated chemically as (Z)-2-[[[(2-amino-4-thiazolyl)[[(2S,3S)-2-methyl-4-oxo-1-sulfo-3-azetidinyl]carbamoyl]methylene]amino]oxy]-2-methylpropionic acid. Structural formula:

Azactam Injection Chemical Structure

C13 H17 N5 O8 S2 MW 435.44

AZACTAM is a sterile, nonpyrogenic, sodium-free, white powder containing approximately 780 mg arginine per gram of aztreonam. Following constitution, the product is for intramuscular or intravenous use. Aqueous solutions of the product have a pH in the range of 4.5 to 7.5.


Single 30-minute intravenous infusions of 500 mg, 1 g, and 2 g doses of AZACTAM in healthy subjects produced aztreonam peak serum levels of 54 mcg/mL, 90 mcg/mL, and 204 mcg/mL, respectively, immediately after administration; at 8 hours, serum levels were 1 mcg/mL, 3 mcg/mL, and 6 mcg/mL, respectively (Figure 1). Single 3-minute intravenous injections of the same doses resulted in serum levels of 58 mcg/mL, 125 mcg/mL, and 242 mcg/mL at 5 minutes following completion of injection.

Serum concentrations of aztreonam in healthy subjects following completion of single intramuscular injections of 500 mg and 1 g doses are depicted in Figure 1; maximum serum concentrations occur at about 1 hour. After identical single intravenous or intramuscular doses of AZACTAM, the serum concentrations of aztreonam are comparable at 1 hour (1.5 hours from start of intravenous infusion) with similar slopes of serum concentrations thereafter.

Figure 1

The serum levels of aztreonam following single 500 mg or 1 g (intramuscular or intravenous) or 2 g (intravenous) doses of AZACTAM exceed the MIC90 for Neisseria sp., Haemophilus influenzae , and most genera of the Enterobacteriaceae for 8 hours (for Enterobacter sp., the 8-hour serum levels exceed the MIC for 80% of strains). For Pseudomonas aeruginosa , a single 2 g intravenous dose produces serum levels that exceed the MIC90 for approximately 4 to 6 hours. All of the above doses of AZACTAM result in average urine levels of aztreonam that exceed the MIC90 for the same pathogens for up to 12 hours.

When aztreonam pharmacokinetics were assessed for adult and pediatric patients, they were found to be comparable (down to 9 months old). The serum half-life of aztreonam averaged 1.7 hours (1.5-2.0) in subjects with normal renal function, independent of the dose and route of administration. In healthy subjects, based on a 70 kg person, the serum clearance was 91 mL/min and renal clearance was 56 mL/min; the apparent mean volume of distribution at steady-state averaged 12.6 liters, approximately equivalent to extracellular fluid volume.

In elderly patients, the mean serum half-life of aztreonam increased and the renal clearance decreased, consistent with the age-related decrease in creatinine clearance.1-4 The dosage of AZACTAM should be adjusted accordingly (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Renal Impairment in Adult Patients).

In patients with impaired renal function, the serum half-life of aztreonam is prolonged. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Renal Impairment in Adult Patients.) The serum half-life of aztreonam is only slightly prolonged in patients with hepatic impairment since the liver is a minor pathway of excretion.

Average urine concentrations of aztreonam were approximately 1100 mcg/mL, 3500 mcg/mL, and 6600 mcg/mL within the first 2 hours following single 500 mg, 1 g, and 2 g intravenous doses of AZACTAM (30-minute infusions), respectively. The range of average concentrations for aztreonam in the 8- to 12-hour urine specimens in these studies was 25 mcg/mL to 120 mcg/mL. After intramuscular injection of single 500 mg and 1 g doses of AZACTAM, urinary levels were approximately 500 mcg/mL and 1200 mcg/mL, respectively, within the first 2 hours, declining to 180 mcg/mL and 470 mcg/mL in the 6- to 8-hour specimens. In healthy subjects, aztreonam is excreted in the urine about equally by active tubular secretion and glomerular filtration. Approximately 60% to 70% of an intravenous or intramuscular dose was recovered in the urine by 8 hours. Urinary excretion of a single parenteral dose was essentially complete by 12 hours after injection. About 12% of a single intravenous radiolabeled dose was recovered in the feces. Unchanged aztreonam and the inactive beta-lactam ring hydrolysis product of aztreonam were present in feces and urine.

Intravenous or intramuscular administration of a single 500 mg or 1 g dose of AZACTAM every 8 hours for 7 days to healthy subjects produced no apparent accumulation of aztreonam or modification of its disposition characteristics; serum protein binding averaged 56% and was independent of dose. An average of about 6% of a 1 g intramuscular dose was excreted as a microbiologically inactive open beta-lactam ring hydrolysis product (serum half-life approximately 26 hours) of aztreonam in the 0- to 8-hour urine collection on the last day of multiple dosing.

Renal function was monitored in healthy subjects given aztreonam; standard tests (serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, BUN, urinalysis, and total urinary protein excretion) as well as special tests (excretion of N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase, alanine aminopeptidase, and β2 -microglobulin) were used. No abnormal results were obtained.

Aztreonam achieves measurable concentrations in the following body fluids and tissues:

Fluid or TissueDose(g)RouteHoursPost-injectionNumberofPatientsMeanConcentration(mcg/mL or mcg/g)
1 Tissue penetration is regarded as essential to therapeutic efficacy, but specific tissue levels have not been correlated with specific therapeutic effects.
blister fluid1IV1620
bronchial secretion2IV475
cerebrospinal fluid (inflamed meninges)2IV0.9-4.3163
pericardial fluid2IV1633
pleural fluid2IV1.1-3.0351
synovial fluid2IV0.8-1.91183
atrial appendage2IV0.9-1.61222
fallopian tube2IV0.7-1.9812
large intestine2IV0.8-1.9912
skeletal muscle2IV0.3-0.7616

The concentration of aztreonam in saliva at 30 minutes after a single 1 g intravenous dose (9 patients) was 0.2 mcg/mL; in human milk at 2 hours after a single 1 g intravenous dose (6 patients), 0.2 mcg/mL, and at 6 hours after a single 1 g intramuscular dose (6 patients), 0.3 mcg/mL; in amniotic fluid at 6 to 8 hours after a single 1 g intravenous dose (5 patients), 2 mcg/mL. The concentration of aztreonam in peritoneal fluid obtained 1 to 6 hours after multiple 2 g intravenous doses ranged between 12 mcg/mL and 90 mcg/mL in 7 of 8 patients studied.

Aztreonam given intravenously rapidly reaches therapeutic concentrations in peritoneal dialysis fluid; conversely, aztreonam given intraperitoneally in dialysis fluid rapidly produces therapeutic serum levels.

Concomitant administration of probenecid or furosemide and AZACTAM (aztreonam for injection, USP) causes clinically insignificant increases in the serum levels of aztreonam. Single-dose intravenous pharmacokinetic studies have not shown any significant interaction between aztreonam and concomitantly administered gentamicin, nafcillin sodium, cephradine, clindamycin, or metronidazole. No reports of disulfiram-like reactions with alcohol ingestion have been noted; this is not unexpected since aztreonam does not contain a methyl-tetrazole side chain.

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