Ampicillin/sulbactam: current status in severe bacterial infections

Drugs. 2007;67(13):1829-49. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200767130-00003.


Ampicillin/sulbactam is a beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor combination with a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity against Gram-positive, Gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria. Data from comparative studies justify the use of ampicillin/sulbactam in a 2 : 1 ratio in various severe bacterial infections. In comparative clinical trials, ampicillin/sulbactam has proved to be a significant drug in the therapeutic armamentarium for lower respiratory tract infections and aspiration pneumonia, gynaecological/obstetrical infections, intra-abdominal infections, paediatric infections such as acute epiglottitis and periorbital cellulitis, diabetic foot infections, and skin and soft tissue infections. Of particular interest during this era of increasing antimicrobial resistance in various settings and populations is the effectiveness of sulbactam against a considerable proportion of infections due to Acinetobacter baumannii.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ampicillin / adverse effects
  • Ampicillin / pharmacology
  • Ampicillin / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria
  • Humans
  • Sulbactam / adverse effects
  • Sulbactam / pharmacology
  • Sulbactam / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ampicillin
  • Sulbactam