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Azactam Injection

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Azactam Injection

Azactam Injection


Single 30-minute intravenous infusions of 500 mg, 1 g, and 2 g doses of AZACTAM in healthy subjects produced aztreonam peak serum levels of 54 mcg/mL, 90 mcg/mL, and 204 mcg/mL, respectively, immediately after administration; at 8 hours, serum levels were 1 mcg/mL, 3 mcg/mL, and 6 mcg/mL, respectively (Figure 1). Single 3-minute intravenous injections of the same doses resulted in serum levels of 58 mcg/mL, 125 mcg/mL, and 242 mcg/mL at 5 minutes following completion of injection.

Serum concentrations of aztreonam in healthy subjects following completion of single intramuscular injections of 500 mg and 1 g doses are depicted in Figure 1; maximum serum concentrations occur at about 1 hour. After identical single intravenous or intramuscular doses of AZACTAM, the serum concentrations of aztreonam are comparable at 1 hour (1.5 hours from start of intravenous infusion) with similar slopes of serum concentrations thereafter.


Serum concentrations of aztreonam - Illustration

The serum levels of aztreonam following single 500 mg or 1 g (intramuscular or intravenous) or 2 g (intravenous) doses of AZACTAM exceed the MIC90 for Neisseria sp., Haemophilus influenzae, and most genera of the Enterobacteriaceae for 8 hours (for Enterobacter sp., the 8-hour serum levels exceed the MIC for 80% of strains). For Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a single 2 g intravenous dose produces serum levels that exceed the MIC90 for approximately 4 to 6 hours. All of the above doses of AZACTAM result in average urine levels of aztreonam that exceed the MIC90 for the same pathogens for up to 12 hours.

When aztreonam pharmacokinetics were assessed for adult and pediatric patients, they were found to be comparable (down to 9 months old). The serum half-life of aztreonam averaged 1.7 hours (1.5-2.0) in subjects with normal renal function, independent of the dose and route of administration. In healthy subjects, based on a 70 kg person, the serum clearance was 91 mL/min and renal clearance was 56 mL/min; the apparent mean volume of distribution at steady-state averaged 12.6 liters, approximately equivalent to extracellular fluid volume.

In elderly patients, the mean serum half-life of aztreonam increased and the renal clearance decreased, consistent with the age-related decrease in creatinine clearance.1-4 The dosage of AZACTAM should be adjusted accordingly (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Renal Impairment in Adult Patients).

In patients with impaired renal function, the serum half-life of aztreonam is prolonged. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Renal Impairment in Adult Patients.) The serum half-life of aztreonam is only slightly prolonged in patients with hepatic impairment since the liver is a minor pathway of excretion.

Average urine concentrations of aztreonam were approximately 1100 mcg/mL, 3500 mcg/mL, and 6600 mcg/mL within the first 2 hours following single 500 mg, 1 g, and 2 g intravenous doses of AZACTAM (30-minute infusions), respectively. The range of average concentrations for aztreonam in the 8-to 12-hour urine specimens in these studies was 25 to 120 mcg/mL. After intramuscular injection of single 500 mg and 1 g doses of AZACTAM, urinary levels were approximately 500 mcg/mL and 1200 mcg/mL, respectively, within the first 2 hours, declining to 180 mcg/mL and 470 mcg/mL in the 6­to 8-hour specimens. In healthy subjects, aztreonam is excreted in the urine about equally by active tubular secretion and glomerular filtration. Approximately 60% to 70% of an intravenous or intramuscular dose was recovered in the urine by 8 hours. Urinary excretion of a single parenteral dose was essentially complete by 12 hours after injection. About 12% of a single intravenous radiolabeled dose was recovered in the feces. Unchanged aztreonam and the inactive beta-lactam ring hydrolysis product of aztreonam were present in feces and urine.

Intravenous or intramuscular administration of a single 500 mg or 1 g dose of AZACTAM every 8 hours for 7 days to healthy subjects produced no apparent accumulation of aztreonam or modification of its disposition characteristics; serum protein binding averaged 56% and was independent of dose. An average of about 6% of a 1 g intramuscular dose was excreted as a microbiologically inactive open beta-lactam ring hydrolysis product (serum half-life approximately 26 hours) of aztreonam in the 0-to 8-hour urine collection on the last day of multiple dosing.

Renal function was monitored in healthy subjects given aztreonam; standard tests (serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, BUN, urinalysis, and total urinary protein excretion) as well as special tests (excretion of N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase, alanine aminopeptidase, and β2-microglobulin) were used. No abnormal results were obtained.

Aztreonam achieves measurable concentrations in the following body fluids and tissues:

Table 1: Extravascular Concentrations of Aztreonam After a Single Parenteral Dosea

Fluid or Tissue Dose (g) Route Hours Post-injection Number of Patients Mean Concentration (mcg/mL or mcg/g)
  bile 1 IV 2 10 39
  blister fluid    1 IV 1 6 20
  bronchial secretion 2 IV 4 7 5
  cerebrospinal fluid (inflamed meninges) 2 IV 0.9-4.3 16 3
  pericardial fluid 2 IV 1 6 33
  pleural fluid 2 IV 1.1-3.0 3 51
  synovial fluid 2 IV 0.8-1.9 11 83
  atrial appendage 2 IV 0.9-1.6 12 22
  endometrium 2 IV 0.7-1.9 4 9
  fallopian tube 2 IV 0.7-1.9 8 12
  fat 2 IV 1.3-2.0 10 5
  femur 2 IV 1.0-2.1 15 16
  gallbladder 2 IV 0.8-1.3 4 23
  kidney 2 IV 2.4-5.6 5 67
  large intestine 2 IV 0.8-1.9 9 12
  liver 2 IV 0.9-2.0 6 47
  lung 2 IV 1.2-2.1 6 22
  myometrium 2 IV 0.7-1.9 9 11
  ovary 2 IV 0.7-1.9 7 13
  prostate 1 IM 0.8-3.0 8 8
  skeletal muscle 2 IV 0.3-0.7 6 16
  skin 2 IV 0.0-1.0 8 25
  sternum 2 IV 1 6 6
a Tissue penetration is regarded as essential to therapeutic efficacy, but specific tissue levels have not been correlated with specific therapeutic effects

The concentration of aztreonam in saliva at 30 minutes after a single 1 g intravenous dose (9 patients) was 0.2 mcg/mL; in human milk at 2 hours after a single 1 g intravenous dose (6 patients), 0.2 mcg/mL, and at 6 hours after a single 1 g intramuscular dose (6 patients), 0.3 mcg/mL; in amniotic fluid at 6 to 8 hours after a single 1 g intravenous dose (5 patients), 2 mcg/mL. The concentration of aztreonam in peritoneal fluid obtained 1 to 6 hours after multiple 2 g intravenous doses ranged between 12 mcg/mL and 90 mcg/mL in 7 of 8 patients studied.

Aztreonam given intravenously rapidly reaches therapeutic concentrations in peritoneal dialysis fluid; conversely, aztreonam given intraperitoneally in dialysis fluid rapidly produces therapeutic serum levels.

Concomitant administration of probenecid or furosemide and aztreonam causes clinically insignificant increases in the serum levels of aztreonam. Single-dose intravenous pharmacokinetic studies have not shown any significant interaction between aztreonam and concomitantly administered gentamicin, nafcillin sodium, cephradine, clindamycin, or metronidazole. No reports of disulfiram-like reactions with alcohol ingestion have been noted; this is not unexpected since aztreonam does not contain a methyl-tetrazole side chain.


Mechanism of Action

Aztreonam is a bactericidal agent that acts by inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis. Aztreonam has activity in the presence of some beta-lactamases, both penicillinases and cephalosporinases, of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

Mechanism of Resistance

Resistance to aztreonam is primarily through hydrolysis by beta-lactamase, alteration of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), and decreased permeability.

Interaction with Other Antimicrobials

Aztreonam and aminoglycosides have been shown to be synergistic in vitro against most strains of P. aeruginosa, many strains of Enterobacteriaceae, and other Gram-negative aerobic bacilli.

Aztreonam has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE5 section.

Aerobic Gram-negative microorganisms

Citrobacter species
Escherichia coli

Haemophilus influenzae
(including ampicillin-resistant and other penicillinase­producing strains)
Klebsiella oxytoca

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Proteus mirabilis

Pseudomonas aeruginosa


The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown. At least 90% of the following microorganisms exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for aztreonam. However, the efficacy of aztreonam in treating clinical infections due to these microorganisms has not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.

Aerobic Gram-negative microorganisms

Aeromonas hydrophila
Morganella morganii

Neisseria gonorrhoeae
(including penicillinase-producing strains)
Pasteurella multocida

Proteus vulgaris

Providencia stuartii

Providencia rettgeri

Yersinia enterocolitica

Aztreonam and aminoglycosides have been shown to be synergistic in vitro against most strains of P. aeruginosa, many strains of Enterobacteriaceae, and other Gram-negative aerobic bacilli.

Alterations of the anaerobic intestinal flora by broad-spectrum antibiotics may decrease colonization resistance, thus permitting overgrowth of potential pathogens, eg, Candida and Clostridium species. Aztreonam has little effect on the anaerobic intestinal microflora in in vitro studies. Clostridium difficile and its cytotoxin were not found in animal models following administration of aztreonam. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS: Gastrointestinal.)

Susceptibility Test Methods

When available, the clinical microbiology laboratory should provide the results of in vitro susceptibility test results for antimicrobial drug products used in resident hospitals to the physician as periodic reports that describe the susceptibility profile of nosocomial and community-acquired pathogens. These reports should aid the physician in selecting an antibacterial drug product for treatment.

Dilution Techniques

Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial MICs.1-3 These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized procedure. Standardized procedures are based on a dilution method6 (broth or agar) or equivalent with standardized inoculum concentrations and standardized concentrations of aztreonam powder. The MIC values should be interpreted according to the criteria in Table 2.

Diffusion Techniques

Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The zone size provides an estimate of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The zone size should be determined using a standardized test method.6,7 This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 30 mcg aztreonam to test the susceptibility of microorganisms to aztreonam. The disk diffusion interpretive criteria are provided in Table 2.

Table 2: Susceptibility Test Interpretive Criteria for Aztreonam

Pathogen Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (mcg/mL) Disk Diffusion Zone Diameters (mm)
(S) Susceptible (I) Intermediate (R) Resistant (S) Susceptible (I) Intermediate (R) Resistant
Enterobacteriaceae ≤ 4 8 ≥ 16 ≥ 21 18-20 ≤ 17
Haemophilus influenzaea ≤ 2 - - ≥ 26 - -
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ≤ 8 16 ≥ 32 ≥ 22 16-21 ≤ 15
a The current absence of data on resistant isolates precludes defining any category other than “Susceptible.” If isolates yield MIC results other than susceptible, they should be submitted to a reference laboratory for additional testing.

Quality Control

Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory controls to monitor and ensure the accuracy and precision of supplies and reagents used in the assay, and the techniques of the individual performing the test.6-8 Standard aztreonam powder should provide the following range of MIC values noted in Table 3. For the diffusion technique using the 30 mcg disk, the criteria in Table 3 should be achieved.

Table 3: Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for Aztreonam

QC Strain Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (mcg/mL) Disk Diffusion Zone Diameters (mm)
Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 0.06-0.25 28-36
Haemophilus influenzae ATCC 49247 0.12-5 30-38
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853 8-Feb 23-29

Clinical Studies

A total of 612 pediatric patients aged 1 month to 12 years were enrolled in uncontrolled clinical trials of aztreonam in the treatment of serious Gram-negative infections, including urinary tract, lower respiratory tract, skin and skin-structure, and intra­abdominal infections.


1. Naber KG, Dette GA, Kees F, Knothe H, Grobecker H. Pharmacokinetics, in vitro activity, therapeutic efficacy, and clinical safety of aztreonam vs. cefotaxime in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections. J Antimicrob Chemother 1986;17:517-527.

2. Creasey WA, Platt TB, Frantz M, Sugerman AA. Pharmacokinetics of aztreonam in elderly male volunteers. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1985;19:233-237.

3. Meyers BR, Wilkinson P, Mendelson MH, et al. Pharmacokinetics of aztreonam in healthy elderly and young adult volunteers. J Clin Pharmacol 1993;33:470­474.

4. Sattler FR, Schramm M, Swabb EA. Safety of aztreonam and SQ 26,992 in elderly patients with renal insufficiency. Rev Infect Dis 1985;7 (suppl 4):S622­S627.

5. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Methods for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria that Grow Aerobically; Approved Standard -Ninth Edition. CLSI document M07-A9, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 950 West Valley Road, Suite 2500, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087, USA, 2012.

6. National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. Methods for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria that Grow Aerobically—Fifth Edition. Approved Standard NCCLS Document M7-A5, Vol. 20, No. 2, NCCLS, Wayne, PA, January 2000.

7. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Diffusion Susceptibility Tests; Approved Standard – Eleventh Edition CLSI document M02-A11, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 950 West Valley Road, Suite 2500, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087, USA, 2012.

8. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; Twenty-third Informational Supplement, CLSI document M100-S23. CLSI document M100-S23, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 950 West Valley Road, Suite 2500, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087, USA, 2013.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/2/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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