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S Afr Med J. 2004 Oct;94(10 Pt 2):857-61.

Appropriate use of the carbapenems.

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Ampath, Johannesburg.


The carbapenems are a group of broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic agents of which there are three parenteral preparations currently available in South Africa, namely imimpenem/cilastatin, meropenem and ertapenem. Owing to the fact that imipenem/cilastatin and meropenem have a broad spectrum of activity that includes Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter species, they are ideal antibiotics for treatment of severe nosocomial infections. In contrast, ertapenem has limited in vitro activity against the latter non-fermentative gram-negative bacteria and is therefore more suitable for the treatment of certain severe community-acquired infections. This statement arises out of concerns about the general abuse of antibiotics such as the carbapenems, with the primary intention of highlighting the appropriate use of these agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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