"A family of bacteria has become increasingly resistant to last-resort antibiotics during the past decade, and more hospitalized patients are getting lethal infections that, in some cases, are impossible to cure.Â The findings, published today"...
Serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity (anaphylactic/anaphylactoid) reactions (including shock) have been reported in patients receiving therapy with ZOSYN. These reactions are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of penicillin, cephalosporin, or carbapenem hypersensitivity or a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. Before initiating therapy with ZOSYN, careful inquiry should be made concerning previous hypersensitivity reactions. If an allergic reaction occurs, ZOSYN should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.
Serious Skin Reactions
Serious skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have been reported in patients receiving ZOSYN. If patients develop a skin rash they should be monitored closely and ZOSYN discontinued if lesions progress.
Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including ZOSYN, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibacterial drug use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibacterial drug use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibacterial treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Bleeding manifestations have occurred in some patients receiving β-lactam drugs, including piperacillin. These reactions have sometimes been associated with abnormalities of coagulation tests such as clotting time, platelet aggregation and prothrombin time, and are more likely to occur in patients with renal failure. If bleeding manifestations occur, ZOSYN should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.
Central Nervous System Effects
As with other penicillins, patients may experience neuromuscular excitability or convulsions if higher than recommended doses are given intravenously (particularly in the presence of renal failure).
ZOSYN contains a total of 2.79 mEq (64 mg) of Na per gram of piperacillin in the combination product. This should be considered when treating patients requiring restricted salt intake. Periodic electrolyte determinations should be performed in patients with low potassium reserves, and the possibility of hypokalemia should be kept in mind with patients who have potentially low potassium reserves and who are receiving cytotoxic therapy or diuretics.
Development Of Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Prescribing ZOSYN in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Long-term carcinogenicity studies in animals have not been conducted with piperacillin/tazobactam, piperacillin, or tazobactam.
Piperacillin/tazobactam was negative in microbial mutagenicity assays, the unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) test, a mammalian point mutation (Chinese hamster ovary cell HPRT) assay, and a mammalian cell (BALB/c-3T3) transformation assay. In vivo, piperacillin/tazobactam did not induce chromosomal aberrations in rats.
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility when piperacillin/tazobactam is administered intravenously up to a dose of 1280/320 mg/kg piperacillin/tazobactam, which is similar to the maximum recommended human daily dose based on body-surface area (mg/m²).
1. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; Twenty-third Informational Supplement. CLSI document M100-S23, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 950 West Valley Road, Suite 2500, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087, USA, 2013.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Methods for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Anaerobic Bacteria; Approved Standard - Eight Edition. CLSI document M11-A8. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, 950 West Valley Road, Suite 2500, Wayne, PA 19087 USA, 2012.
Use In Specific Populations
Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category B
Teratology studies have been performed in mice and rats and have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus when piperacillin/tazobactam is administered intravenously up to a dose of 3000/750 mg/kg piperacillin/tazobactam which is 1 to 2 times and 2 to 3 times the human dose of piperacillin and tazobactam, respectively, based on body-surface area (mg/m²).
Piperacillin and tazobactam cross the placenta in humans.
There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies with the piperacillin/tazobactam combination or with piperacillin or tazobactam alone in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of the human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Piperacillin is excreted in low concentrations in human milk; tazobactam concentrations in human milk have not been studied. Caution should be exercised when ZOSYN is administered to a nursing woman.
Use of ZOSYN in pediatric patients 2 months of age or older with appendicitis and/or peritonitis is supported by evidence from well-controlled studies and pharmacokinetic studies in adults and in pediatric patients. This includes a prospective, randomized, comparative, open-label clinical trial with 542 pediatric patients 2–12 years of age with complicated intra-abdominal infections, in which 273 pediatric patients received piperacillin/tazobactam. Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients less than 2 months of age have not been established [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
It has not been determined how to adjust ZOSYN dosage in pediatric patients with renal impairment.
Patients over 65 years are not at an increased risk of developing adverse effects solely because of age. However, dosage should be adjusted in the presence of renal impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
ZOSYN contains 64 mg (2.79 mEq) of sodium per gram of piperacillin in the combination product. At the usual recommended doses, patients would receive between 768 and 1024 mg/day (33.5 and 44.6 mEq) of sodium. The geriatric population may respond with a blunted natriuresis to salt loading. This may be clinically important with regard to such diseases as congestive heart failure.
This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
In patients with creatinine clearance ≤ 40 mL/min and dialysis patients (hemodialysis and CAPD), the intravenous dose of ZOSYN should be reduced to the degree of renal function impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Patients with Cystic Fibrosis
As with other semisynthetic penicillins, piperacillin therapy has been associated with an increased incidence of fever and rash in cystic fibrosis patients.
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/8/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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