Meds and you

27 September 2013

Piperacillin

Piperacillin is a penicillin antibiotic. Penicillins are antibiotics that are derived from a mold. It is used to treat infections caused by harmful bacteria.

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Piperacillin is the active ingredient of Sabax Piperacillin (Nappi Code: 700609- 003), Sabax Piperacillin (Nappi Code: 700611- 004).

Piperacillin is also one of multiple active ingredients found in Tazobax (Nappi Code: 703067-001) and Tazocin (Nappi Code: 810894-009).

General information
Piperacillin is a penicillin antibiotic. Penicillins are antibiotics that are derived from a mold. It is used to treat infections caused by harmful bacteria.

In South Africa Piperacillin is registered for the treatment of a wide range of bacterial infections caused by susceptible organisms, including those infections caused by the bacterium P. Aeruginosa. Should you develop a skin rash whilst being treated with this medication, you should notify your doctor to rule out the possibility of allergy.

A penicillin allergy may lead to fever, swelling of the mouth and tongue, itching and associated breathing difficulties.

Piperacillin is only effective against bacterial infections and is useless for treating viral infections such as cold or flu.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when a bacterium develops the ability to defend itself against the effect of an antibiotic. It occurs frequently with this antibiotic. The most common causes for resistance is patients not completing prescribed antibiotic courses, allowing the bacteria to recover from treatment, and the use of antibiotics for non-bacterial infections such as cold and flu.

How does piperacillin work?
Piperacillin functions by changing the structure of the bacterial cell wall, allowing fluid to penetrate the cell. As a result the bacterial cell literally ruptures.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: piperacillin is available as injection.
What does it do? piperacillin has an antibiotic action.
Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low
Is Piperacillin available as a generic? no
Is Piperacillin available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 6 hours
Duration of action: up to 12 hours
Stopping this medicine: complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better within a few days. Premature discontinuation may cause symptoms to recur, or cause bacterial resistance.
Prolonged use: generally only given in short courses

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have a known allergy to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics

  • you have kidney or liver disease

  • you are undergoing dialysis

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe use.
Infants and children: this medication is safe for use in children at the recommended dose.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
diarrhoea

X
X

nausea/vomiting

X
X

fungal infections

X
X

black/hairy tongue

X
X

skin rash

X

X
itchy skin

X

X
difficulty swallowing

X

X
convulsions

X

X
loss of consciousness

X

X
headache

X
X

fever

X

X
fluid retention

X
X

bloody diarrhoea

X

X
bleeding diathesis

X

X
inflammation at site of injection

X
X

yellow tinge to eyes or skin

X

X

Interactions

allopurinol increased risk of skin rash
chloroquine reduce the efficacy of piperacillin
oral contraceptives possible reduced contraceptive efficacy. Another form of contraceptive is advised.
probenecid increased risk of piperacillin toxicity
tetracycline possible reduced piperacillin efficacy
warfarin increased risk of warfarin toxicity

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have a known allergy to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics, you have kidney or liver disease or if you are undergoing dialysis.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults: a maximum of 24g daily if given intramuscularly (divided in 3-4 doses), or a maximum of 4-6 g daily if given intravenously (divided in 2-3 doses)

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.
 
 

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