What Meropenem for Injection is used for and how to use it
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Meropenem for Injection - Consumer Medicine Information

Manufacture: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC
Country: United States
Condition: Intraabdominal Infection, Meningitis, Nosocomial Pneumonia, Skin and Structure Infection, Skin or Soft Tissue Infection, Urinary Tract Infection
Class: Carbapenems
Form: Liquid solution, Intravenous (IV)
Ingredients: Meropenem Trihydrate

What Meropenem is and What it is Used For

Meropenem belongs to a group of medicines called carbapenem antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria, which can cause serious infections.

  • Infection affecting the lungs (pneumonia)
  • Lung and bronchial infections in patients suffering from cystic fibrosis
  • Complicated urinary tract infections
  • Complicated infections in the abdomen
  • Infections that you can catch during or after the delivery
  • Complicated skin and soft tissues infections
  • Acute bacterial infection of the brain (meningitis)

Meropenem may be used in the management of neutropenic patients with fever that is suspected to be due to a bacterial infection.

What You Need to Know Before You Use Meropenem

Do not Use Meropenem

  • if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to Meropenem or any of the other ingredients of Meropenem (listed in Section 6 ).
  • if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to other antibiotics such as penicillins, cephalosporins, or carbapenems as you may also be allergic to Meropenem.

Warning and Precautions

Talk to your doctor or nurse before using Meropenem:

  • if you have health problems, such as liver or kidney problems.
  • if you have had severe diarrhoea after taking other antibiotics.

You may develop a positive test (Coombs test) which indicates the presence of antibodies that may destroy red blood cells. Your doctor will discuss this with you.

If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor before using Meropenem.

Other Medicines and Meropenem

Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.

This is because Meropenem can affect the way some medicines work and some medicines can have an effect on Meropenem.

In particular, tell your doctor or nurse if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • probenecid (used to treat gout).
  • sodium valproate (used to treat epilepsy). Meropenem should not be used because it may decrease the effect of sodium valproate.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

It is important that you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant before receiving Meropenem. It is preferable to avoid the use of Meropenem during pregnancy. Your doctor will decide whether you should use Meropenem.

It is important that you tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or if you intend to breastfeed before receiving Meropenem. Small amounts of this medicine may pass into the breast milk and it may affect the baby. Therefore, your doctor will decide whether you should use Meropenem while breastfeeding.

Ask your doctor for advice before taking any medicine.

Driving and Using Machines

No studies on the effect on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed.

Meropenem contains sodium.

Meropenem 500 mg powder for solution for injection or infusion contains 1.96 mmol (or 45.13 mg) sodium per dose. Meropenem 1 g powder for solution for injection or infusion contains 2 mmol (or 90.25 mg) sodium per dose.

To be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.

If you have a condition which requires you to monitor your sodium intake please inform your doctor or nurse.

How to Use Meropenem

Always use this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor if you are not sure.

Adults

  • The dose depends on the type of infection that you have, where the infection is in the body and how serious the infection is. Your doctor will decide on the dose that you need.
  • The dose for adults is usually between 500 mg (milligrams) and 2 g (gram). You will usually receive a dose every 8 hours.

However you may receive a dose less often if your kidneys do not work very well.

Use in Children and Adolescents

  • The dose for children over 3 months old and up to 12 years of age is decided using the age and weight of the child. The usual dose is between 10 mg and 40 mg of Meropenem for each kilogram (kg) that the child weighs. A dose is usually given every 8 hours. Children who weigh over 50 kg will be given an adult dose.
  • Meropenem will be given to you as an injection or infusion into a large vein.
  • Your doctor or nurse will normally give Meropenem to you.
  • However, some patients, parents and carers are trained to give Meropenem at home. Instructions for doing this are provided in this leaflet (in the section called ‘Instructions for giving Meropenem to yourself or someone else at home’). Always use Meropenem exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor if you are not sure.
  • Your injection should not be mixed with or added to solutions that contain other medicines.
  • The injection may take about 5 minutes or between 15 and 30 minutes. Your doctor will tell you how to give Meropenem.
  • You should normally have your injections at the same times each day.

If You Use More Meropenem Than You Should

If you accidentally use more than your prescribed dose, contact your doctor or nearest hospital straight away.

If You Forget to Use Meropenem

If you miss an injection, you should have it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next injection, skip the missed injection.

Do not take a double dose (two injections at the same time) to make up for a forgotten dose.

If You Stop Using Meropenem

Do not stop having Meropenem until your doctor tells you to. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or nurse.

Possible Side Effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Severe Allergic Reactions

If you have a severe allergic reaction, stop having Meropenem and see a doctor straight away. You may need urgent medical treatment. The signs may include a sudden onset of:

  • Severe rash, itching or hives on the skin.
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body.
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing.

Damage to Red Blood Cells (not known)

The signs include:

  • Being breathless when you do not expect it.
  • Red or brown urine.

If you notice any of the above, see a doctor straight away.

Other Possible Side Effects

Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)

  • Abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Feeling sick (nausea).
  • Being sick (vomiting).
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Headache.
  • Skin rash, itchy skin.
  • Pain and inflammation.
  • Increased numbers of platelets in your blood (shown in a blood test).
  • Changes in blood tests, including tests that show how well your liver is working.

Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000)

  • Changes in your blood. These include reduced numbers of platelets (which may make you bruise more easily), increased numbers of some white blood cells, decreased numbers of other white cells and increased amounts of a substance called ‘bilirubin’. Your doctor may do blood tests from time to time.
  • Changes in blood tests, including tests that show how well your kidney is working.
  • A tingling feeling (pins and needles).
  • Infections of the mouth or the vagina that are caused by a fungus (thrush).

Rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000)

  • Fits (convulsions)

Other Possible Side Effects of Unknown Frequency (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data but this is rare or very rare)

  • Inflammation of the bowel with diarrhoea.
  • Sore veins where Meropenem is injected.
  • Other changes in your blood. The symptoms include frequent infections, high temperature and sore throat. Your doctor may do blood tests from time to time.
  • Sudden onset of a severe rash or blistering or peeling skin. This may be associated with a high fever and joint pains.

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.

The following information is intended for healthcare professionals only:

Instructions for Giving Meropenem to Yourself or Someone Else at Home

Some patients, parents and carers are trained to give Meropenem at home.

Warning – You should only give this medicine to yourself or someone else at home after a doctor or nurse has trained you.

  • The medicine must be mixed with another liquid (the diluent). Your doctor will tell you how much of the diluent to use.
  • Use the medicine straight after preparing it. Do not freeze it.

How to Prepare This Medicine

  1. Wash your hands and dry them very well. Prepare a clean working area.
  2. Remove the Meropenem bottle (vial) from the packaging. Check the vial and the expiry date. Check that the vial is intact and has not been damaged.
  3. Remove the coloured cap and clean the rubber stopper with an alcohol wipe. Allow the rubber stopper to dry.
  4. Connect a new sterile needle to a new sterile syringe, without touching the ends.
  5. Draw up the recommended amount of sterile ‘Water for Injections’ into the syringe. The amount of liquid that you need is shown in the table below:
    Dose of Meropenem Amount of ‘Water for
      Injections’ needed for dilution
    500 mg (milligrams) 10 ml (milliliters)
    1 g (gram) 20 ml
    1.5 g 30 ml
    2 g 40 ml
    Please note:  If your prescribed dose of Meropenem is more than 1g, you will need to use more than 1 vial of Meropenem. You can then draw the liquid in the vials into the one syringe.
  6. Put the needle of the syringe through the centre of the rubber stopper and inject the recommended amount of Water for Injections into the vial or vials of Meropenem.
  7. Remove the needle from the vial and shake the vial well for about 5 seconds, or until all the powder has dissolved. Clean the rubber stopper once more with a new alcohol wipe and allow the rubber stopper to dry.
  8. With the plunger of the syringe pushed fully into the syringe, put the needle back through the rubber stopper. You must then hold both the syringe and the vial and turn the vial upside down.
  9. Keeping the end of the needle in the liquid, pull back the plunger and draw all the liquid in the vial into the syringe.
  10. Remove the needle and syringe from the vial and throw the empty vial away in a safe place.
  11. Hold the syringe upright, with the needle pointing upwards. Tap the syringe so that any bubbles in the liquid rise to the top of the syringe.
  12. Remove any air in the syringe by gently pushing the plunger until all the air has gone.
  13. 1If you are using Meropenem at home, dispose of any needles and infusion lines that you have used in an appropriate way. If your doctor decides to stop your treatment, dispose of any unused Meropenem in an appropriate way.

Giving the Injection

You can either give this medicine through a short cannula or venflon, or through a port or central line.

Giving Meropenem Through a Short Cannula or Venflon

  1. Remove the needle from the syringe and throw the needle away carefully in your sharps bin.
  2. Wipe the end of the short cannula or venflon with an alcohol wipe and allow it to dry. Open the cap on your cannula and connect the syringe.
  3. Slowly push the plunger of the syringe to give the antibiotic steadily over about 5 minutes.
  4. Once you have finished giving the antibiotic and the syringe is empty, remove the syringe and use a flush as recommended by your doctor or nurse.
  5. Close the cap of your cannula and carefully throw the syringe away in your sharps bin.

Giving Meropenem Through a Port or Central Line

  1. Remove the cap on the port or line, clean the end of the line with an alcohol wipe and allow it to dry.
  2. Connect the syringe and slowly push the plunger on the syringe to give the antibiotic steadily over about 5 minutes.
  3. Once you have finished giving the antibiotic, remove the syringe and use a flush as recommended by your doctor or nurse.
  4. Place a new clean cap on your central line and carefully throw the syringe away in your sharps bin.

Contents of the Pack and Other Information

What Meropenem Contains

  • The active substance is meropenem trihydrate. Each 20 vial/100ml bottle of Meropenem 500 mg powder f solution for injection or infusion contains 500 m Meropenem. Each 20 ml vial, 50/100 ml bottle of Meropene 1 g solution for injection or infusion contains 1 g Meropenem The other ingredient is anhydrous sodium carbonate.

What Meropenem Looks Like and Contents of the Pack

Meropenem is a white or light yellow powder for solution finjection or infusion in vial or bottle.Meropenem 500 mg powder for solution for injection infusion is available in 20 ml glass vials and 100 ml glass bottleMeropenem 1 g powder for solution for injection or infusiois available in 20 ml glass vials, 50 ml and 100 ml glass bottle

Pack sizes of 1 or 10 vials or bottles.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

Marketing Authorisation Holder

Fresenius Kabi Ltd
Cestrian Court,
Eastgate Way,
Manor Park,
Runcorn,
Cheshire,
United Kingdom
WA7 1NT
Manufacturer(s) responsible for batch release
FACTA FARMACEUTICI S.p.A.
Nucleo Industriale S. Atto, S. Nicolò a Tordino, 64020 Teramo
Italy

and

Fresenius Kabi Deutschland GmbH
61346 Bad Homburg v.d.H.
Germany

and

LABESFAL – Laboratórios Almiro S.A. (Fresenius Kabi Group)
Lagedo, 3465157 Santiago de Besteiros
Portugal