What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original leaflet can be viewed using the link above.

The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 14894/0568 .


Meropenem 500 mg Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion

Package leaflet: Information for the patient

Meropenem 500 mg Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion

Meropenem 1 g Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion

(meropenem trihydrate)

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
  • This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

What is in this leaflet:

1. What Meropenem is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you use Meropenem
3. How to use Meropenem
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Meropenem
6. Contents of the pack and other information

1. 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. Meropenem may be used to treat bacterial infection of the blood which might be associated with a type of infection mentioned above.

2. What you need to know before you use Meropenem

Do not use Meropenem if

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

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist 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 applies to you, talk to your doctor or nurse before using Meropenem.

Other medicines and Meropenem

Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription and herbal 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, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Probenecid (used to treat gout).
  • Valproic acid/sodium valproate/valpromide (used to treat epilepsy). Meropenem should not be used because it may decrease the effect of sodium valproate.
  • Oral anti-coagulant agent (used to treat or prevent blood clots).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine. 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 breast-feeding or if you intend to breast-feed before receiving Meropenem. Small amounts of this medicine pass into the breast milk. Therefore, your doctor will decide whether you should use Meropenem while breast-feeding.

Driving and using machines

No studies on the effect on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed. However, Meropenem has been associated with headache; tingling or pricking skin (paraesthesiae); and involuntary muscle movements, leading the person’s body to shake rapidly and uncontrollably (convulsions) that are usually accompanied with a loss of consciousness, and any of these could affect your ability to drive or operate machines.

Meropenem contains sodium.

Meropenem 500 mg: This medicine contains 45 mg sodium (main component of cooking/table salt) in each 500 mg dose. This is equivalent to 2.25% of the recommended maximum daily dietary intake of sodium for an adult.

Meropenem 1 g: This medicine contains 90 mg sodium (main component of cooking/table salt) in each 1 g dose. This is equivalent to 4.5% of the recommended maximum daily dietary intake of sodium for an adult.

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

3. How to use Meropenem

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

Use in 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.

How to use Meropenem

  • 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 have 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, pharmacist or nurse.

4. 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.
  • Serious skin reactions which include
    • Serious hypersensitivity reactions involving fever, skin rash, and changes in the blood tests that check how the liver is working (increased levels of liver enzymes) and an increase in a type of white blood cell (eosinophilia) and enlarged lymph nodes. These may be signs of a multi-organ sensitivity disorder known as DRESS syndrome.
    • Severe red scaly rash, skin bumps that contain pus, blisters or peeling of skin, which may be associated with a high fever and joint pains.
    • Severe skin rashes that can appear as reddish circular patches often with central blisters on the trunk, skin peeling, ulcers of mouth, throat, nose, genitals and eyes and can be preceded by fever and flu-like symptoms (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) or a more severe form (toxic epidermal necrolysis).

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 (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

  • 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 (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)

  • 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 kidneys are working.
  • A tingling feeling (pins and needles).
  • Infections of the mouth or the vagina that are caused by a fungus (thrush).
  • 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.

Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)

  • Fits (convulsions).

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5. How to store Meropenem

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and label after Exp. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not store above 25°C

After reconstitution: The reconstituted solutions for intravenous injection or infusion should be used immediately. The time interval between the beginning of reconstitution and the end of intravenous injection or infusion should not exceed one hour.

Do not freeze the reconstituted solution.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Meropenem Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion contains

The active substance is meropenem trihydrate.

Each vial contains meropenem trihydrate equivalent to 500 mg anhydrous meropenem.

Each vial contains meropenem trihydrate equivalent to 1 g anhydrous meropenem.

The other ingredient is anhydrous sodium carbonate.

What Meropenem Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion looks like and contents of the pack

Meropenem is a white to pale yellow crystalline powder for solution for injection or infusion in vial. Pack sizes of 1 or 10 vials.

Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer

Marketing Authorisation Holder:

Ranbaxy (UK) Limited
5th floor
Hyde Park
Hayes 3
11 Millington Road
Hayes
UB3 4AZ
United Kingdom

Manufacturer:

Terapia SA
124 Fabricii Street
400632 Cluj Napoca
Romania

Or

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Europe B.V.
Polarisavenue 87
2132 JH Hoofddorp
The Netherlands

This leaflet was last revised in July 2019.

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