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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 Dec;14(12):1102-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2008.02101.x.

New developments in carbapenems.

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CIDEIM (International Center for Medical Research and Training), Cali, Colombia.


Antibiotic resistance among Gram-negative pathogens in hospitals is a growing threat to patients and is driving the increased use of carbapenems. Carbapenems are potent members of the beta-lactam family of antibiotics, with a history of safety and efficacy for serious infections that exceeds 20 years. Original and review articles were identified from a Medline search (1979-2008). Reference citations from identified publications, abstracts from the Interscience Conferences on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and package inserts were also used. Carbapenems are effective in treating severe infections at diverse sites, with relatively low resistance rates and a favourable safety profile. Carbapenems are the beta-lactams of choice for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. Optimized dosing of carbapenems should limit the emergence of resistance and prolong the utility of these agents. The newly approved doripenem should prove to be a valuable addition to the currently available carbapenems: imipenem, meropenem and ertapenem.

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