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Imipenem / cilastatin


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What is imipenem/cilastatin?

Imipenem / cilastatin (also called Primaxin®) is a medicine used to treat infections. Imipenem / cilastatin is available as a clear to yellow liquid that is given into a vein (IV).

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Possible side effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Feeling sleepy or dizzy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Changes in kidney or liver function tests
  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Change in taste
  • Allergic reaction with the following symptoms: rash, hives, itching, fever, or shortness of breath
  • Decreased blood counts

    These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, hives, itching, chills, fever, headache, muscle ache, shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the throat, swelling of the face or neck.

Not all patients who take imipenem / cilastatin will experience these side effects. Common side effects are bolded, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for patients and families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your doctor or pharmacist. 

  • If you have decreased kidney function, tell your doctor before you receive imipenem / cilastatin.
  • Imipenem / cilastatin may cause a false-positive urine test result when checking your urine for sugar (glucose) levels.