Meropenem in the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissue infections

Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2006 Dec;2(4):401-15. doi: 10.2147/tcrm.2006.2.4.401.


Meropenem is a broad-spectrum carbapenem antibiotic with excellent activity against many pathogens associated with complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTIs). At least three studies have shown meropenem to have good clinical efficacy and to be well tolerated in the treatment of cSSTIs. Two open-label studies compared meropenem 500 mg every 8 hours (total evaluable n=146) with imipenem/cilastatin 500mg every 6 hours (n=147). Clinical efficacy rates in evaluable patients 7-14 days after end of treatment were similar, 92% and 100% in meropenem-treated groups versus 89% and 100% in groups receiving imipenem/cilastatin. An additional prospective, randomized, double-blind study evaluated meropenem 500mg every 8 hours (261 evaluable patients) versus imipenem/cilastatin 500 mg every 8 hours (287 patients). Clinical efficacy rates of meropenem and imipenem/cilastatin 7-28 days after end of treatment were 86.2% and 82.9%, respectively. Meropenem was well tolerated in all studies. Carbapenems are currently recommended as appropriate for initial treatment of certain cSSTIs such as those likely to involve mixed and/or multidrug-resistant pathogens. Meropenem is an effective and safe alternative for monotherapy when used for appropriate types of cSSTIs. Higher doses (ie, 1 g every 8 hours) should be considered for treatment of cSSTIs in higher-risk patients where Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a suspected or documented pathogen.