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How to use Imipenem and Cilastatin Sodium Injection

Brand Name(s): Primaxin

Generic Name Imipenem and Cilastatin Sodium Injection

What is imipenem/cilastatin injection?

IMIPENEM; CILASTATIN (Primaxin®) is an antibiotic. Imipenem kills or stops the growth of bacteria that cause severe infections. Cilastatin is added to make imipenem work better. Imipenem-cilastatin treats many kinds of infections including those of the skin, bone, heart, blood, stomach, lungs, sinuses, and kidneys. It also treats certain infections in women (pelvic infections). Generic imipenem-cilastatin injections are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive imipenem-cilastatin?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • head injury
  • kidney disease
  • seizure disorder
  • other chronic illness
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to imipenem, penicillins, cephalosporin antibiotics, or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Imipenem/cilastatin is for injection into a muscle or infusion into a vein. Imipenem/cilastatin is usually given in a hospital or clinic for severe infections. If you are to give yourself imipenem/cilastatin at home, follow the directions on the prescription label. Finish the full course prescribed by your prescriber or health care professional even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop using except on your prescriber's advice. Make sure you understand how to store, mix and give yourself imipenem/cilastatin. Ask your prescriber or health care professional if you have any questions.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with imipenem-cilastatin?

  • co-trimoxazole
  • cyclosporine
  • ganciclovir
  • probenecid
  • theophylline

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving imipenem-cilastatin?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

Rare or uncommon:

  • difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • dizziness
  • fever or chills, sore throat
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizures
  • severe or watery diarrhea
  • skin rash, itching
  • twitching or shaking of hands or feet

More common:

  • headache
  • pain, swelling and irritation at the injection site (especially following deep shots)

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • nausea, vomiting
  • too much saliva in the mouth

What should I watch for while taking imipenem-cilastatin?

Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms do not begin to improve in a few days.

If you get severe or watery diarrhea, do not treat yourself. Call your prescriber or health care professional for advice.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Imipenem-cilastatin is usually given in a hospital. You may be given imipenem-cilastatin to take home to complete your treatment. If you are given this medicine to take at home, store at room temperature or as directed until it is time to mix the medicine. Make sure you understand how to store, mix and give yourself imipenem-cilastatin; ask your prescriber or health care professional if you have any questions. Keep medicine out of reach of children.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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