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Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Redness and swelling at the site of injection

Less common

  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Chills
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Fever
  • Itching skin
  • Lightheadedness
  • Not breathing
  • Pain at the place of injection
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Skin rash and itching
  • Sweating
  • Wheezing


  • Abdominal or stomach cramps and severe pain
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Black, bloody, or tarry stools
  • Black, bloody vomit
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning while urinating
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Cough
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased urine output
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea (watery and severe), which may also be bloody
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever with or without chills
  • Headache
  • Hostility
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Light-colored stools
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • No blood pressure or pulse
  • Nosebleed
  • Pale skin
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Severe constipation
  • Severe vomiting
  • Slow, irregular heartbeat
  • Stopping of the heart
  • Stupor
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tingling of the hands or feet
  • Troubled breathing with exertion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Weight gain
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Incidence not known

  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • General body swelling
  • General feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • Swollen glands

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Constipation

Less common

  • Body aches or pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Cold sweats
  • Congestion
  • Cool pale skin
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Increased hunger
  • Indigestion
  • Nightmares
  • Passing of gas
  • Redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • Runny nose
  • Shakiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Sneezing
  • Stomach pain, fullness, or discomfort
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Voice changes


  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Belching
  • Excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • Full feeling
  • Heartburn
  • Hives or welts
  • Redness of the skin
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sore mouth or tongue
  • Sores on the skin
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unable to sleep
  • White patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Meropenem may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you or your child have itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive this medicine.

Some patients may develop tremors or seizures while receiving this medicine. If you or your child already have a history of seizures and you are taking a medicine called valproic acid (Depakene®), continue taking the medicine and tell your doctor.

Meropenem may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Proper Use

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of meropenem in children below 3 months of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of meropenem in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment of dose in patients receiving meropenem.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters B Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Valproic Acid

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Probenecid

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Brain infection (e.g., meningitis) caused by bacteria or
  • Brain lesion (e.g., tumor) or
  • Seizures, history of—May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Kidney disease—The effects of meropenem may be increased because of slower removal from the body.


Meropenem injection is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. This medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections. Meropenem is an antibiotic.

This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, meropenem is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Febrile neutropenia (treatment)