Hopkins ABX Guide

Carbapenem Antibiotics

Definition

Carbapenem antibiotics or Carbapenems are a class of potent broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics. They are effective against a number of pathogenic bacteria from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative groups as opposed to narrow-spectrum antibiotics which work only against Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria but not both. They are known to be particularly effective against Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae although health authorities and medical community have been expressing concern about the increasing incidence of Carbapenem-resistant strains. If Carbapenem-resistance will continue to spread, new types of Carbapenems will need to be developed to prevent potentially fatal complications of bacterial infections.

Examples of Carbapenems

There are several different Carbapenems. Some of the most widely used ones include:

Carbapenems are used as the last resort antibiotics which means that they are used only when alternative options have failed to achieve any noticeable results. But they may also be prescribed to patients with severe infections in order to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.