MICHAEL BARZA, M.D.
Imipenem, the first of a new class of carbapenem antibiotics, has potent activity against most clinically important species of bacteria, including isolates resistant to other antibiotics. The drug is well distributed to most tissues and fluids after intravenous administration; however, levels in cerebrospinal fluid are modest. Most of the drug is eliminated in the urine, where it is metabolized by an enzyme on the brush border of the renal tubular cells; cilastatin is given simultaneously to inhibit this inactivation. Adverse effects include a syndrome of nausea and hypotension, especially after rapid intravenous infusion, and a predisposition to seizures in certain high-risk patients. Superinfections by resistant bacteria and fungi are infrequent. This new drug may be particularly useful in the treatment of infections caused by mixtures of bacteria for which a combination of antibiotics, often including an aminoglycoside, would otherwise be necessary. Examples include pulmonary, intra-abdominal, and soft-tissue infections.
BARZA M. Imipenem: First of a New Class of Beta-Lactam Antibiotics. Ann Intern Med. ;103:552–560. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-4-552
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(4):552-560.
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