Imipenem

Please note: This is for information only.

Refer to local guidelines for treatment recommendations.


  • A ß-lactam antibiotic: carbapenem, similar to meropenem.
  • Bactericidal
  • Usual adult dose: 500mg tds IV. May be increased to 1g tds for severe infections
  • Very broad spectrum predisposes to candida and other multi-resistant organisms.
  • If renal impairment, consider using meropenem. Dosage reduction necessary.
  • No oral preparation.
  • Preparation contains cilastatin: and inhibitor of the renal enzyme that metabolises and inactivates imipenem. Has no intrinsic antibacterial activity.
  • May cause seizures – contraindicated if history of epilepsy: use meropenem.

Main indications:

  • Microbiology advice – restricted agent.
  • Haematology guidelines.

Active against most strains of:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (not MRSA)
  • Haemolytic streptococcus
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Neisseira meningitidis
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella spp
  • Other Coliforms
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa*
  • Anaerobes

Not active against most strains of:

  • MRSA
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Candida and other fungal pathogens
  • *some strains of Ps aeruginosa may become resistant during treatment. Meropenem has better pseudomonal activity.