Piperacillin and Tazobactam Injection

pronounced as (pi per' a sil in) (ta zoe bak' tam)

Brand Name(s): Zosyn®(as a combination product containing Piperacillin, Tazobactam), also available generically

Why is this medicine prescribed?

Piperacillin and tazobactam injection is used to treat pneumonia and skin, gynecological, and abdominal (stomach area) infections caused by bacteria. Piperacillin is in a class of medications called penicillin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria that cause infection. Tazobactam is in a class called beta-lactamase inhibitor. It works by preventing bacteria from destroying piperacillin.

Antibiotics such as piperacillin and tazobactam injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking or using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

Are there other uses for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Piperacillin and tazobactam injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid and injected intravenously (into a vein). It is usually given every 6 hours, but children 9 months of age and older may receive it every 8 hours. The length of treatment depends on your general health, the type of infection you have, and how well you respond to the medication. Your doctor will tell you how long to use piperacillin and tazobactam injection. After your condition improves, your doctor may switch you to another antibiotic that you can take by mouth to complete your treatment.

You may receive piperacillin and tazobactam injection in a hospital, or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving piperacillin and tazobactam injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with piperacillin and tazobactam injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using piperacillin and tazobactam injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to piperacillin, tazobactam, cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefuroxime (Ceftin, Zinacef), and cephalexin (Keflex); beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin (Amoxil, Larotid, Moxatag); any other medications, or any of the ingredients in piperacillin and tazobactam injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, gentamicin, or tobramycin; anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall), probenecid (Probalan, in Col-Probenecid); or vancomycin (Vancocin). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had cystic fibrosis (an inborn disease that causes problems with breathing, digestion, and reproduction) or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while receiving piperacillin and tazobactam injection, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving piperacillin and tazobactam injection.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What side effects can this medicine cause?

Piperacillin and tazobactam injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • stomach pain
  • fever
  • headache
  • mouth sores
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • rash
  • itching
  • hives
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • wheezing
  • severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)

Piperacillin and tazobactam injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to piperacillin and tazobactam injection.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are receiving piperacillin and tazobactam injection. If you have diabetes, piperacillin and tazobactam injection can cause false results with certain urine glucose tests. Talk to your doctor about using other glucose tests while using piperacillin and tazobactam injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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