The selection of meropenem to treat an individual patient should take into account the appropriateness of using a carbapenem antibacterial agent based on factors such as severity of the infection, the prevalence of resistance to other suitable antibacterial agents and the risk of selecting for carbapenem-resistant bacteria.
Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp. resistance
Resistance to penems of Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter spp. varies across the European Union. Prescribers are advised to take into account the local prevalence of resistance in these bacteria to penems.
As with all beta-lactam antibiotics, serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity reactions have been reported (see sections 4.3 and 4.8).
Patients who have a history of hypersensitivity to carbapenems, penicillins or other beta-lactam antibiotics may also be hypersensitive to meropenem. Before initiating therapy with meropenem, careful inquiry should be made concerning previous hypersensitivity reactions to beta-lactam antibiotics.
If a severe allergic reaction occurs, the medicinal product should be discontinued and appropriate measures taken.
Antibiotic-associated colitis and pseudomembranous colitis have been reported with nearly all anti-bacterial agents, including meropenem, and may range in severity from mild to life threatening. Therefore, it is important to consider this diagnosis in patients who present with diarrhoea during or subsequent to the administration of meropenem (see section 4.8). Discontinuation of therapy with meropenem and the administration of specific treatment for Clostridium difficile should be considered. Medicinal products that inhibit peristalsis should not be given.
Seizures have infrequently been reported during treatment with carbapenems, including meropenem (see section 4.8).
Hepatic function monitoring
Hepatic function should be closely monitored during treatment with meropenem due to the risk of hepatic toxicity (hepatic dysfunction with cholestasis and cytolysis) (see section 4.8).
Use in patients with liver disease: patients with pre-existing liver disorders should have liver function monitored during treatment with meropenem. There is no dose adjustment necessary (see section 4.2).
Direct antiglobulin test (Coombs test) seroconversion
A positive direct or indirect Coombs test may develop during treatment with meropenem.
Concomitant use with valproic acid/sodium valproate/valpromide
The concomitant use of meropenem and valproic acid/sodium valproate/valpromide is not recommended (see section 4.5).
Meronem is licensed for children over 3 months of age. There is no evidence of an increased risk of any adverse drug reaction in children based on the limited available data. All reports received were consistent with events observed in the adult population.
Meronem contains sodium.
Meronem 500 mg: This medicinal product contains approximately 2.0 mEq of sodium per 500 mg dose which should be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.
Meronem 1.0 g: This medicinal product contains approximately 4.0 mEq of sodium per 1.0 g dose which should be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.