1. What Meronem is and what it is used for
Meronem 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)
Meronem may be used in the management of neutropenic patients with fever that is suspected to be due to a bacterial infection.
Meronem 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 Meronem
Do not use Meronem if:
- you are allergic (hypersensitive) to meropenem or any of the other ingredients of Meronem (listed in Section 6 Further information).
- 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 Meronem if:
- you have health problems, such as liver or kidney problems.
- 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 Meronem.
Other medicines and Meronem
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines. This is because Meronem can affect the way some medicines work and some medicines can have an effect on Meronem.
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). Meronem 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 planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before using 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 may pass into the breast milk and it may affect the baby. 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, Meronem has been associated with headache; tingling or pricking skin (paraesthesia); 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.
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 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.
If you have a condition which requires you to monitor your sodium intake please inform your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
3. How to use Meronem
Always use this medicine exactly as your doctor, pharmacist or nurse has told you. Check with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse 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 Meronem 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 Meronem
- Meronem will be given to you as an injection or infusion into a large vein.
- Your doctor or nurse will normally give Meronem to you.
- However, some patients, parents and carers are trained to give Meronem at home. Instructions for doing this are provided in this leaflet (in the section called ‘Instructions for giving Meronem to yourself or someone else at home’). Always use Meronem 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 Meronem.
- You should normally have your injections at the same times each day.
If you use more Meronem 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 Meronem
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 Meronem 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 Meronem 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.
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).
- 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 Meronem 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.
- Sudden onset of a severe rash or blistering or peeling skin. This may be associated with a high fever and joint pains.
Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
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. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. How to store Meronem
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 container. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Do not store above 30°C.
After reconstitution: The reconstituted solutions for intravenous injection should be used immediately. The time interval between the beginning of reconstitution and the end of intravenous injection should not exceed:
- 3 hours when stored at up to 25°C;
- 12 hours when stored under refrigerated conditions (2-8°C).
After reconstitution: The reconstituted solutions for intravenous infusion should be used immediately. The time interval between the beginning of reconstitution and the end of intravenous infusion should not exceed:
- 3 hours when stored at up to 25°C when Meronem is dissolved in sodium chloride;
- 24 hours when stored under refrigerated conditions (2-8°C) when Meronem is dissolved in sodium chloride;
- when Meronem is dissolved in dextrose the solution should be used immediately.
From a microbiological point of view, unless the method of opening/reconstitution/dilution precludes the risk of microbiological contamination, the product should be used immediately.
If not used immediately in-use storage times and conditions are the responsibility of the user.
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 to protect the environment.
6. Contents of the pack and other information
What Meronem contains
The active substance is meropenem. Each vial contains 500 mg anhydrous meropenem as meropenem trihydrate.
The active substance is meropenem. Each vial contains 1 g anhydrous meropenem as meropenem trihydrate.
The other ingredient is anhydrous sodium carbonate.
What Meronem looks like and contents of the pack
- Meronem is a white to light yellow powder for solution for injection or infusion in a vial. Pack sizes of 1 or 10 vials.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
The Marketing Authorisations for Meronem are held by
AstraZeneca UK Ltd
600 Capability Green
Meronem is manufactured by
AstraZeneca UK Ltd
Silk Road Business Park
This medicinal product is authorised in the Member States of the EEA under the following names:
Belgium: Meronem IV
Czech Republic: MERONEM
Ireland: Meronem IV
Lithuania: Meronem IV
Luxembourg: Meronem IV
Malta: Meronem IV
Netherlands: Meronem i.v.
Romania: Meronem i.v.
Slovak Republic: Meronem 500mg i.v.
Spain: Meronem I.V.
United Kingdom: Meronem IV
To listen to or request a copy of this leaflet in Braille, large print or audio please call, free of charge:
0800 198 5000 (UK only)
Please be ready to give the following information:
Product name Reference number
Meronem IV 500 mg 17901/0029
Meronem IV 1 g 17901/0030
This is a service provided by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They have no effect against infections caused by viruses.
Sometimes an infection caused by bacteria does not respond to a course of an antibiotic. One of the commonest reasons for this to occur is because the bacteria causing the infection are resistant to the antibiotic that is being taken. This means that they can survive and even multiply despite the antibiotic.
Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics for many reasons. Using antibiotics carefully can help to reduce the chance of bacteria becoming resistant to them.
When your doctor prescribes a course of an antibiotic it is intended to treat only your current illness. Paying attention to the following advice will help prevent the emergence of resistant bacteria that could stop the antibiotic working.
1. It is very important that you take the antibiotic at the right dose, at the right times and for the right number of days. Read the instructions on the label and if you do not understand anything ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain.
2. You should not take an antibiotic unless it has been prescribed specifically for you and you should use it only to treat the infection for which it was prescribed.
3. You should not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for other people even if they had an infection that was similar to yours.
4. You should not give antibiotics that were prescribed for you to other people.
5. If you have any antibiotic left over when you have taken the course as directed by your doctor you should take the remainder to a pharmacy for appropriate disposal.
Meronem is a trade mark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.