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ertapenem

Pronunciation: er ta PEN em

Brand: INVanz

What is the most important information I should know about ertapenem?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ertapenem or to any other antibiotic.

Before using ertapenem, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, a seizure disorder such as epilepsy, a history of head injury or brain tumor, or if you are allergic to numbing medicine such as lidocaine or Novocain.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using ertapenem and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Ertapenem will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

What is ertapenem?

Ertapenem is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Ertapenem is used to treat severe infections of the skin, lungs, stomach, pelvis, and urinary tract. It is also used to prevent infection in people having certain types of surgery.

Ertapenem may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using ertapenem?

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You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ertapenem or to any other antibiotic, especially:

  • meropenem (Merrem);
  • imipenem (Primaxin);
  • a cephalosporin such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), and others; or
  • an antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Dispermox, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen).

To make sure you can safely take ertapenem, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor; or
  • if you are allergic to a numbing medicine such as lidocaine or Novocain.

FDA pregnancy category B. Ertapenem is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

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Ertapenem can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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Do not give this medication to a child younger than 3 months old.

How should I use ertapenem?

Ertapenem is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, syringes, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

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Ertapenem is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication. Shake the mixture well just before you measure a dose.

When injected into a vein, ertapenem must be given slowly and can take at least 30 minutes to complete.

Ertapenem is usually given as a daily injection for 3 to 14 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Ertapenem will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

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Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

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Store ertapenem powder at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

You may store the mixture for up to 6 hours at room temperature, or up to 24 hours in a refrigerator. Use the mixed medicine within 4 hours after removing it from a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, or dizziness.

What should I avoid while using ertapenem?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using ertapenem and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

What are the possible side effects of ertapenem?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever;
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • loss of balance or coordination, trouble walking;
  • tremors, twitching, or rigid (very stiff) muscles;
  • seizures (black-out or convulsions); or
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea or diarrhea, constipation;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • headache; or
  • pain, redness, or mild swelling where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect ertapenem?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • divalproex (Depakote);
  • valproic acid (Depakene); or
  • probenecid (Benemid).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with ertapenem. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about ertapenem.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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