Carbapenem antibiotics like imipenem and meropenem are resistant to beta-lactamases and can therefore cover a wide spectrum of bacterial infections.
Carbapenems like imipenem and meropenem cover a broad spectrum of bacteria, such as gram-positives, gram-negatives, aerobes, and anaerobes.
Anaerobic bacteria are bacteria that do not require oxygen for growth. This antibiotic can be used for anaerobic organisms.
Gram-negative rods are bacteria that stain gram-negative due to a relatively thin peptidoglycan layer in the cell wall with a rod shape. Imipenem covers a broad spectrum of bacteria, including gram-negative rods.
Gram-positive cocci are gram-positive organisms that absorb crystal violet on gram stain due to a thick peptidoglycan layer with a spherical shape. Gram-positive cocci include Staphylococcus and Streptococcus species. Imipenem covers a broad spectrum of bacteria, including gram-positive cocci.
Imipenem can be degraded by renal dehydropeptidase I in the renal tubules and, therefore, requires co-administration with cilastatin, a dehydropeptidase I inhibitor. Meropenem, however, does not require cilastatin because it is not degraded by dehydropeptidase I.
Cilastatin is always given together with imipenem to prevent imipenem's degradation by renal dehydropeptidase I.
Carbapenems like imipenem and meropenem are known to cause GI distress, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Skin rash is another occasional adverse effect caused by carbapenem antibiotics like imipenem and meropenem.
Seizures are a more serious adverse effect that can occur with the use of imipenem. However, meropenem has a much-reduced potential for this side effect compared to imipenem.
Meropenem is another carbapenem with activity similar to imipenem but has a reduced risk of seizures and does not require co-administration of cilastatin because it is not degraded by dehydropeptidase I.
Meropenem, unlike imipenem, is stable to dehydropeptidase I and, therefore, does not require co-administration of cilastatin.
Meropenem has a reduced risk of CNS toxicity or seizures as compared to imipenem.
Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.
*Average video play time: 2-3 minutes
Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)