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Clin Microbiol Infect. 1996;2(2):91-98.

Meropenem in cystic fibrosis patients infected with resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Burkholderia cepacia and with hypersensitivity to beta-lactam antibiotics.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology and Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and.



To assess the efficacy and safety of meropenem, administered on a compassionate basis to 62 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients (age: 24plus minus6 years) with hypersensitivity reactions to beta-lactam antibiotics and/or infection by bacteria resistant to other antibiotics.


Fifty-seven patients were chronically infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 5 with Burkholderia cepacia. In total, 124 courses (1 to 6/patient) of meropenem, 2 g three times a day by intravenous infusion (10 to 15 min) for 14 days, were administered.


During treatment for P. aeruginosa the mean increase in pulmonary function (as a percentage of the predictive values) was 5.6% for FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in the first second) and 8.6% for FVC (forced vital capacity). C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and leukocyte count decreased significantly. In courses administered for chronic infection with B. cepacia the post treatment FEV1 and FVC values were higher than the pre-treatment values, and all the inflammatory parameters decreased. The geometric means of minimal inhibitory concentration (MICs) (microg/mL) for P. aeruginosa (B. cepacia) were: tobramycin 6 (59), ciprofloxacin 1.2 (9.7), piperacillin 49 (16.3), ceftazidime 26 (23), aztreonam 26 (35), imipenem 6.4 (not determined) and meropenem 5.1 (4.8). No statistically significant increase in the MICs of meropenem for either pathogen occurred during therapy. Of the 124 courses, 115 were tolerated without any clinical complaint. The following side effects were observed: nausea (0.8%), itching (4%), rash (3.2%), drug fever (1.6%).


Meropenem proved to be a valuable drug in the treatment of CF patients with chronic pulmonary infection with multiresistant P. aeruginosa and B. cepacia and with hypersensitivity reactions to other beta-lactam drugs.

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