Tobramycin inactivation by carbenicillin, ticarcillin, and piperacillin

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1983 May;23(5):653-7. doi: 10.1128/AAC.23.5.653.


The in vitro and in vivo inactivation of tobramycin by carbenicillin, ticarcillin, or piperacillin was investigated by the enzyme immunoassay method in clinically employed dosages. After the addition of an 80-mg dose of tobramycin to 4- to 5-g doses of a penicillin in 100 ml of 0.9% saline or distilled water, the degradation profile of tobramycin appeared to follow a biexponential pattern of decay. Remarkable losses (30 to 40%) of tobramycin combined with carbenicillin or ticarcillin were observed within 1 h, as compared with the later decline. The combination of tobramycin with piperacillin was least inactivating. When the admixture of tobramycin with carbenicillin or piperacillin used in the in vitro study was infused to six volunteers over 1 h, the observed maximum concentrations of tobramycin were on the average 66 and 74% for carbenicillin and piperacillin, respectively, of that observed after tobramycin alone was given. In contrast, the value obtained for tobramycin in combination with piperacillin was close to 90% of the control value. The elimination half-lives of tobramycin combined with the penicillins were slightly shorter than those of tobramycin alone, indicating that the interaction occurs even in patients with normal renal function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis*
  • Carbenicillin / analysis*
  • Carbenicillin / pharmacology
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Incompatibility
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillins / analysis*
  • Penicillins / pharmacology
  • Piperacillin
  • Ticarcillin / analysis*
  • Ticarcillin / pharmacology
  • Tobramycin / analysis*
  • Tobramycin / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Penicillins
  • Ticarcillin
  • Carbenicillin
  • Tobramycin
  • Piperacillin