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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2000 Sep;52(9):1143-9.

Comparative cerebrospinal fluid diffusion of imipenem and meropenem in rats.

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UPRES-EA 1223, Faculté de Medecine & Pharmacie and tLaboratoire de Pharmacocinétique, CHU la Milétrie, Poitiers, France.


The main objective of this study was to compare the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diffusion of imipenem and meropenem at steady state, following intravenous infusions at various rates in rats. A preliminary experiment was conducted to estimate the elimination half-lives of these two carbapenem antibiotics, and then to evaluate the infusion duration necessary to reach steady state. CSF diffusion of imipenem was essentially linear over the wide range of infusion rates (66-1,320microg min(-1)) and corresponding steady-state plasma concentrations (11.7-443.0 microg mL(-1)). Conversely the CSF diffusion of meropenem was saturable, with a predicted maximum CSF concentration equal to 1.3 microg mL(-1). Extrapolation of these data to the clinical situation may not be possible since the rats had normal blood-brain and blood-CSF barriers whereas patients with diseases such as meningitis may not. However, it is suggested that the observed differences in the diffusion characteristics of imipenem and meropenem may be partly responsible for their differences in toxicity and efficacy at the central level.

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