Meropenem (Page 3 of 8)

5.6 Development of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Prescribing Meropenem for Injection, USP in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

5.7 Overgrowth of Nonsusceptible Organisms

As with other broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs, prolonged use of meropenem may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms. Repeated evaluation of the patient is essential. If superinfection does occur during therapy, appropriate measures should be taken.

5.8 Thrombocytopenia

In patients with renal impairment, thrombocytopenia has been observed but no clinical bleeding reported [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Use in Specific Populations (8.5) and (8.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

5.9 Potential for Neuromotor Impairment

Alert patients receiving Meropenem for Injection, USP on an outpatient basis regarding adverse events such as seizures, delirium, headaches and/or paresthesias that could interfere with mental alertness and/or cause motor impairment. Until it is reasonably well established that Meropenem for Injection, USP is well tolerated, advise patients not to operate machinery or motorized vehicles [see Adverse Reactions (6.1) ].


The following are discussed in greater detail in other sections of labeling:

• Hypersensitivity Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
• Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
• Seizure Potential [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
• Risk of Breakthrough Seizures Due to Drug Interaction with Valproic Acid [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
Clostridium difficile – associated Diarrhea [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
• Development of Drug-Resistant Bacteria [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
• Overgrowth of Nonsusceptible Organisms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
• Thrombocytopenia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
• Potential for Neuromotor Impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]

6.1 Adverse Reactions from Clinical Trials

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reactions rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adult Patients

During clinical investigations, 2904 immunocompetent adult patients were treated for non-CNS infections with Meropenem for Injection, USP (500 mg or 1 gram every 8 hours). Deaths in 5 patients were assessed as possibly related to meropenem; 36 (1.2%) patients had meropenem discontinued because of adverse events. Many patients in these trials were severely ill and had multiple background diseases, physiological impairments and were receiving multiple other drug therapies. In the seriously ill patient population, it was not possible to determine the relationship between observed adverse events and therapy with Meropenem for Injection, USP.

The following adverse reaction frequencies were derived from the clinical trials in the 2904 patients treated with Meropenem for Injection, USP.

Local Adverse Reactions

Local adverse events that were reported with Meropenem for Injection, USP were as follows:

Inflammation at the injection site 2.4%

Injection site reaction 0.9%

Phlebitis/thrombophlebitis 0.8%

Pain at the injection site 0.4%

Edema at the injection site 0.2%

Systemic Adverse Reactions

Systemic adverse events that were reported with Meropenem for Injection, USP occurring in greater than 1.0% of the patients were diarrhea (4.8%), nausea/vomiting (3.6%), headache (2.3%), rash (1.9%), sepsis (1.6%), constipation (1.4%), apnea (1.3%), shock (1.2%), and pruritus (1.2%).

Additional systemic adverse events that were reported with Meropenem for Injection, USP and occurring in less than or equal to 1.0% but greater than 0.1% of the patients are listed below within each body system in order of decreasing frequency:

Bleeding events were seen as follows: gastrointestinal hemorrhage (0.5%), melena (0.3%), epistaxis (0.2%), hemoperitoneum (0.2%).


Body as a Whole: pain, abdominal pain, chest pain, fever, back pain, abdominal enlargement, chills, pelvic pain

Cardiovascular: heart failure, heart arrest, tachycardia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolus, bradycardia, hypotension, syncope

Digestive System: oral moniliasis, anorexia, cholestatic jaundice/jaundice, flatulence, ileus, hepatic failure, dyspepsia, intestinal obstruction

Hemic/Lymphatic: anemia, hypochromic anemia, hypervolemia

Metabolic/Nutritional: peripheral edema, hypoxia

Nervous System: insomnia, agitation, delirium, confusion, dizziness, seizure, nervousness, paresthesia, hallucinations, somnolence, anxiety, depression, asthenia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and (5.9)]

Respiratory: respiratory disorder, dyspnea, pleural effusion, asthma, cough increased, lung edema

Skin and Appendages: urticaria, sweating, skin ulcer

Urogenital System: dysuria, kidney failure, vaginal moniliasis, urinary incontinence

Adverse Laboratory Changes

Adverse laboratory changes that were reported and occurring in greater than 0.2% of the patients were as follows:

Hepatic: increased alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and bilirubin

Hematologic: increased platelets, increased eosinophils, decreased platelets, decreased hemoglobin, decreased hematocrit, decreased white blood cell (WBC), shortened prothrombin time and shortened partial thromboplastin time, leukocytosis, hypokalemia

Renal: increased creatinine and increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN)

Urinalysis: presence of red blood cells

Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections

In a study of complicated skin and skin structure infections, the adverse reactions were similar to those listed above. The most common adverse events occurring in greater than 5% of the patients were: headache (7.8%), nausea (7.8%), constipation (7.0%), diarrhea (7.0%), anemia (5.5%), and pain (5.1%). Adverse events with an incidence of greater than 1%, and not listed above, include: pharyngitis, accidental injury, gastrointestinal disorder, hypoglycemia, peripheral vascular disorder, and pneumonia.

Patients with Renal Impairment:

For patients with varying degrees of renal impairment, the incidence of heart failure, kidney failure, seizure and shock reported with Meropenem for Injection, USP, increased in patients with moderately severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance 10 to 26 mL/min) [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.9), Use in Specific Populations (8.5) and (8.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Pediatric Patients:

Systemic and Local Adverse Reactions

Pediatric Patients with Serious Bacterial Infections (excluding Bacterial Meningitis)

Meropenem for Injection, USP was studied in 515 pediatric patients (3 months to less than 13 years of age) with serious bacterial infections (excluding meningitis, see next section) at dosages of 10 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg every 8 hours. The types of systemic and local adverse events seen in these patients are similar to the adults, with the most common adverse events reported as possibly, probably, or definitely related to Meropenem for Injection, USP and their rates of occurrence as follows:

Diarrhea 3.5%

Rash 1.6%

Nausea and Vomiting 0.8%

Pediatric Patients with Bacterial Meningitis

Meropenem for Injection, USP was studied in 321 pediatric patients (3 months to less than 17 years of age) with meningitis at a dosage of 40 mg/kg every 8 hours. The types of systemic and local adverse events seen in these patients are similar to the adults, with the most common adverse reactions reported as possibly, probably, or definitely related to Meropenem for Injection, USP and their rates of occurrence as follows:

Diarrhea 4.7%

Rash (mostly diaper area moniliasis) 3.1%

Oral Moniliasis 1.9%

Glossitis 1.0%

In the meningitis studies, the rates of seizure activity during therapy were comparable between patients with no CNS abnormalities who received meropenem and those who received comparator agents (either cefotaxime or ceftriaxone). In the Meropenem for Injection, USP treated group, 12/15 patients with seizures had late onset seizures (defined as occurring on day 3 or later) versus 7/20 in the comparator arm. The meropenem group had a statistically higher number of patients with transient elevation of liver enzymes.

Pediatric Patients (Neonates and Infants less than 3 months of Age)

Meropenem for Injection, USP was studied in 200 neonates and infants less than 3 months of age. The study was open-label, uncontrolled, 98% of the infants received concomitant medications, and the majority of adverse events were reported in neonates less than 32 weeks gestational age and critically ill at baseline, making it difficult to assess the relationship of the adverse events to Meropenem for Injection, USP.

The adverse reactions seen in these patients that were reported and their rates of occurrence are as follows:

Convulsion 5.0%

Hyperbilirubinemia(Conjugated) 4.5%

Vomiting 2.5%

Adverse Laboratory Changes in Pediatric Patients:

Laboratory changes seen in the pediatric studies, including the meningitis studies, were similar to those reported in the adult studies.

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