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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Primaxin IM, Primaxin IV

Generic Name: imipenem and cilastatin (Pronunciation: IM i PEN em and SYE la STAT in)

What is imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin IM, Primaxin IV)?

Imipenem is an antibiotic that fights serious infections caused by bacteria.

Cilastatin helps imipenem work more effectively by preventing the breakdown of the antibiotic in the kidneys.

Imipenem and cilastatin is used to treat severe infections of the lower respiratory tract, skin, stomach, female reproductive organs, and other body systems.

Imipenem and cilastatin may also be used for other purposes not listed here.

What are the possible side effects of imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin IM, Primaxin IV)?

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.

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

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • confusion, tremors, hallucinations, seizure (convulsions);
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain, swelling, or redness where the medicine was injected;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, heartburn, or stomach pain;
  • sore throat;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • mild skin rash or itching;
  • dizziness or tired feeling;
  • numbness or tingling; or
  • ringing in your ears.

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 is the most important information I should know about imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin IM, Primaxin IV)?

Do not use imipenem and cilastatin if you are allergic to it, if you have heart block, or if you are allergic to lidocaine or other local anesthetics (numbing medicine).

Before using imipenem and cilastatin, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), or a seizure disorder.

Also tell your doctor if you are either allergic to or are currently taking a penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotic such as Amoxil, Augmentin, Bactocill, Beepen-VK, Ceclor, Ceftin, Duricef, Dycill, Dynapen, Keflex, Ledercillin VK, Omnipen, Pen-V, Pfizerpen, Principen, Veetids, and others.

Primaxin IM (for the muscle) and Primaxin IV (for the vein) are different forms of this medicine and should be used only for their specific type of injection. Do not inject Primaxin IM into a vein and do not inject Primaxin IV into a muscle.

Call your doctor at once if you have serious side effects such as pounding heartbeats, confusion, hallucinations, seizure (convulsions), feeling light-headed, fainting, flu symptoms, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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