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Home / Drugs / Starting with I / Imipenem

Semisynthetic thienamycin that has a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, including many multiresistant strains. It is stable to beta-lactamases. Clinical studies have demonstrated high efficacy in the treatment of infections of various body systems. Its effectiveness is enhanced when it is administered in combination with cilastatin, a renal dipeptidase inhibitor. [PubChem]
CategoriesAnti-Bacterial Agents
PackagersCardinal Health
Merck & Co.
Imipenem, n-formimidoyl thienamycin


For the treatment of bacterial infections caused by susceptible bacteria.


Imipenem is a beta-lactam antibiotic belongings to the subgroup of carbapenems. Imipenem has a broad spectrum of activity against aerobic and anaerobic Gram positive as well as Gram negative bacteria. It is particularly important for its activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the Enterococcus species. Imipenem is rapidly degraded by the renal enzyme dehydropeptidase when administered alone, and is always co-administered with cilastatin to prevent this inactivation.

mechanism of action

Imipenem acts as an antimicrobial through the inhibition of cell wall synthesis of various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. This inhibition of cell wall synthesis in gram-negative bateria is attained by binding to pencillin binding proteins (PBPs). In E. coli and selected strains of P. aeruginosa, imipenem has shown to have the highest affinity to PBP-2, PBP-1a, and PBP-1b. This preferential binding to PBP-2 and PBP-1b results in the direct conversion of the individual cell to a spheroblast, which leads to rapid cell lysis and death without filament formation.




Imipenem is not effectively absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and therefore must be administered parenterally.

half life

1 hour

drug interactions

Cyclosporine: Imipenem increases the effect and toxicity of cyclosporine

Valganciclovir: Generalized convulsions have been reported in patients taking Ganciclovir and Imipenem-cilastatin. Concomitant therapy should be avoided. (Note: Valganciclovir is converted to Ganciclovir in vivo)