Frequently asked questions for Imipenem
Q. Is Imipenem used alone?No, Imipenem is not to be used alone. It should always be used in combination with Cilastatin, which is a dehydropeptidase I inhibitor. Cilastatin blocks the activity of an enzyme (dehydropeptidase I) that causes breakdown of Imipenem. This ensures that the medicine remains active and continues its work for longer for a longer duration.
Q. Even though Imipenem is used for skin infections, can it cause any skin-related problems?Serious skin reactions are rare, but some have been reported with the use of Imipenem. Therefore, before starting the treatment inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medicine or antibiotic. Serious skin reactions are a type of allergic reactions. But, if not properly managed then they can endanger life. So, if you notice any rash along with fever or peeling of the skin, discontinue the medication and inform your doctor.
Q. Is Imipenem a strong antibiotic? Which infections does it treat?Imipenem is a broad-spectrum antibiotic which means it can treat a variety of bacterial infections. It is used to treat infection affecting the lungs (pneumonia) and complicated infections of the urinary tract, abdomen, and skin and soft tissue infections. Along with that, it is also helpful in treating bacterial infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and infections that occur during or after delivery.
Q. Is Imipenem effective against bacteria only? Can it be used for any type of bacterial infection?Yes, Imipenem is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective against virus or fungal infections. Imipenem is effective against some bacteria which include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, S. pyogenes, S. viridans group, etc. Therefore, its use against any other type of bacteria should be avoided.
Q. My cousin was receiving Imipenem for severe skin infection, but the medicine was stopped when she had a fit. Was the fit due to Imipenem?There are reports which suggest the occurrence of seizures or fits with the use of Imipenem. However, fits are more likely to occur in patients with a history of seizures or a brain lesion (wound, ulcer, abscess or tumor) or patients having bacterial meningitis or compromised kidney function. Consult your doctor to understand the exact reason.
Q. For how long will I need to take Imipenem?The length of the treatment will be decided by your doctor. The doctor will decide the dose depending on your general health, the type of infection you have and how well you respond to Imipenem. Consult your doctor if you are not sure.
Q. What if Imipenem does not suit me?It is common to have minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headache with the use of Imipenem. However, these symptoms generally settle down with continued medication as the body adapts the medicine. If the side effects bother you, inform your doctor. The doctor will suggest an alternative medicine if required. Serious side effects with Imipenem are very rare. In case you develop serious side effects, seek immediate medical advice.
Q. Does it matter if I miss or stop Imipenem?It is important that you do not stop the treatment without consulting your doctor. Stopping the treatment may bring back the infection or you may develop resistance to Imipenem. Similar results may be seen if you skip any dose or are forgetful in taking the suggested doses. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not miss doses. If you do, take the missed dose as soon as you can and take the next dose as planned so that you stick to the same overall daily dose.