The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Meropenem for Injection, USP. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Worldwide post-marketing adverse reactions not otherwise listed in the Adverse Reactions from Clinical Trials section of this prescribing information and reported as possibly, probably, or definitely drug related are listed within each body system in order of decreasing severity.
Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: agranulocytosis, neutropenia, and leukopenia; a positive direct or indirect Coombs test, and hemolytic anemia.
Immune System Disorders: angioedema.
Skin and Subcutaneous Disorders: Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), erythema multiforme and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis.
Probenecid competes with meropenem for active tubular secretion, resulting in increased plasma concentrations of meropenem. Co-administration of probenecid with meropenem is not recommended.
Case reports in the literature have shown that co-administration of carbapenems, including meropenem, to patients receiving valproic acid or divalproex sodium results in a reduction in valproic acid concentrations. The valproic acid concentrations may drop below the therapeutic range as a result of this interaction, therefore increasing the risk of breakthrough seizures. Although the mechanism of this interaction is unknown, data from in vitro and animal studies suggest that carbapenems may inhibit the hydrolysis of valproic acid’s glucuronide metabolite (VPA-g) back to valproic acid, thus decreasing the serum concentrations of valproic acid. If administration of Meropenem for Injection, USP is necessary, then supplemental anti-convulsant therapy should be considered [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ].
There are insufficient human data to establish whether there is a drug-associated risk of major birth defects or miscarriages with meropenem in pregnant women.
No fetal toxicity or malformations were observed in pregnant rats and Cynomolgus monkeys administered intravenous meropenem during organogenesis at doses up to 2.4 and 2.3 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) based on body surface area comparison, respectively. In rats administered intravenous meropenem in late pregnancy and during the lactation period, there were no adverse effects on offspring at doses equivalent to approximately 3.2 times the MRHD based on body surface area comparison (see Data).
The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Meropenem administered to pregnant rats during organogenesis (Gestation Day 6 to Gestation Day 17) in intravenous doses of 240, 500, and 750 mg/kg/day was associated with mild maternal weight loss at all doses, but did not produce malformations or fetal toxicity. The no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) for fetal toxicity in this study was considered to be the high dose of 750 mg/kg/day (equivalent to approximately 2.4 times the MRHD of 1 gram every 8 hours based on body surface area comparison). Meropenem administered intravenously to pregnant Cynomolgus monkeys during organogenesis from Day 20 to 50 after mating at doses of 120, 240, and 360 mg/kg/day did not produce maternal or fetal toxicity at the NOAEL dose of 360 mg/kg/day (approximately 2.3 times the MRHD based on body surface area comparison).
In a peri-postnatal study in rats described in the published literature2, intravenous meropenem was administered to dams from Gestation Day 17 until Lactation Day 21 at doses of 240, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day. There were no adverse effects in the dams and no adverse effects in the first generation offspring (including developmental, behavioral, and functional assessments and reproductive parameters) except that female offspring exhibited lowered body weights which continued during gestation and nursing of the second generation offspring. Second generation offspring showed no meropenem-related effects. The NOAEL value was considered to be 1000 mg/kg/day (approximately 3.2 times the MRHD based on body surface area comparisons).
Meropenem has been reported to be excreted in human milk. No information is available on the effects of meropenem on the breast-fed child or on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Meropenem for Injection, USP and any potential adverse effects on the breast-fed child from Meropenem for Injection, USP or from the underlying maternal conditions.
The safety and effectiveness of Meropenem for Injection, USP have been established for pediatric patients 3 months of age and older with complicated skin and skin structure infections and bacterial meningitis, and for pediatric patients of all ages with complicated intra-abdominal infections.
Skin and Skin Structure Infections
Use of Meropenem for Injection, USP in pediatric patients 3 months of age and older with complicated skin and skin structure infections is supported by evidence from an adequate and well-controlled study in adults and additional data from pediatric pharmacokinetics studies [see Indications and Usage (1.3), Dosage and Administration (2.3), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Clinical Studies (14.1)].
Use of Meropenem for Injection, USP in pediatric patients 3 months of age and older with intra-abdominal infections is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults with additional data from pediatric pharmacokinetics studies and controlled clinical trials in pediatric patients. Use of Meropenem for Injection, USP in pediatric patients less than 3 months of age with intra-abdominal infections is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults with additional data from a pediatric pharmacokinetic and safety study [see Indications and Usage (1.2), Dosage and Administration (2.3), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Use of Meropenem for Injection, USP in pediatric patients 3 months of age and older with bacterial meningitis is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in the pediatric population [see Indications and Usage (1.3), Dosage and Administration (2.3), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Clinical Studies (14.3)].
Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of Meropenem for Injection, USP, approximately 1100 (30%) were 65 years of age and older, while 400 (11%) were 75 years and older. Additionally, in a study of 511 patients with complicated skin and skin structure infections, 93 (18%) were 65 years of age and older, while 38 (7%) were 75 years and older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects; spontaneous reports and other reported clinical experience have not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Meropenem is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with renal impairment. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
A pharmacokinetic study with Meropenem for Injection, USP in elderly patients has shown a reduction in the plasma clearance of meropenem that correlates with age-associated reduction in creatinine clearance [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with creatinine clearance 50 mL/min or less [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.8), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
In mice and rats, large intravenous doses of meropenem (2200 mg/kg to 4000 mg/kg) have been associated with ataxia, dyspnea, convulsions, and mortalities.
Intentional overdosing of Meropenem for Injection, USP is unlikely, although accidental overdosing might occur if large doses are given to patients with reduced renal function. The largest dose of meropenem administered in clinical trials has been 2 grams given intravenously every 8 hours. At this dosage, no adverse pharmacological effects or increased safety risks have been observed.
Limited postmarketing experience indicates that if adverse events occur following overdosage, they are consistent with the adverse event profile described in the Adverse Reactions section and are generally mild in severity and resolve on withdrawal or dose reduction. Consider symptomatic treatments. In individuals with normal renal function, rapid renal elimination takes place. Meropenem and its metabolite are readily dialyzable and effectively removed by hemodialysis; however, no information is available on the use of hemodialysis to treat overdosage.
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