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Ertapenem (Injection)

Ertapenem (er-ta-PEN-em)

Treats infections. Also helps prevent infections after colon and rectum surgery.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to ertapenem or similar medicines, or to a local anesthetic medicine (such as lidocaine).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle or a vein.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how ertapenem works. Tell your doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Divalproex
    • Probenecid
    • Valproic acid

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, are on dialysis, or have a history of seizures, head injury, or brain tumor. Tell your doctor about any allergic reactions you had to an antibiotic medicine.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serious allergic reactions
    • Seizures
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Seizures
  • Severe diarrhea that may be bloody, stomach cramps, fever
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Mild diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Redness, pain, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 10/4/2015

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