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Summary of product characteristics,

NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT

Meropenem Farmaplus 500 mg powder for solution for injection/infusion
Meropenem Farmaplus 1 g powder for solution for injection/infusion

2.

QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION

Meropenem Farmaplus 500 mg powder for solution for injection or infusion
Each vial contains:
Meropenem Trihydrate 570 mg (equivalent to Meropenem 500 mg)
Each 500 mg vial contains 104 mg sodium carbonate which equates to approximately 2.0 mEq of sodium
(approximately 45 mg).
Meropenem Farmaplus 1 g powder for solution for injection or infusion
Each vial contains:
Meropenem Trihydrate 1140 mg (equivalent to Meropenem 1000 mg)
Each 1 g vial contains 208 mg sodium carbonate which equates to approximately 4.0 mEq of sodium
(approximately 90 mg).
For a full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
3.
PHARMACEUTICAL

Powder for solution for injection or infusion.
A white to light yellow powder.
4. CLINICAL
PARTICULARS

4.1 Therapeutic
indications
Meropenem Farmaplus is indicated for the treatment of the following infections in adults and children over 3 months of age (see sections 4.4 and 5.1): Pneumonia, including community acquired pneumonia and nosocomial pneumonia. Broncho-pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis Complicated urinary tract infections Complicated intra-abdominal infections Intra- and post-partum infections Complicated skin and soft tissue infections Acute bacterial meningitis Meropenem Farmaplus may be used in the management of neutropenic patients with fever that is suspected to be due to a bacterial infection. Consideration should be given to official guidance on the appropriate use of antibacterial agents.
4.2 Posology and method of administration

The tables below provide general recommendations for dosing.
The dose of meropenem administered and the duration of treatment should take into account the type of
infection to be treated, including its severity, and the clinical response.
A dose of up to 2 g three times daily in adults and adolescents and a dose of up to 40 mg/kg three times daily
in children may be particularly appropriate when treating some types of infections, such as nosocomial
infections due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Acinetobacter spp.
Additional considerations for dosing are needed when treating patients with renal insufficiency (see further
below).
Adults and adolescents
Pneumonia including community-acquired pneumonia and nosocomial pneumonia. 500 mg or 1 g Broncho-pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis Complicated skin and soft tissue infections Management of febrile neutropenic patients Meropenem is usually given by intravenous infusion over approximately 15 to 30 minutes (see section 6.2, 6.3 and 6.6). Alternatively, doses up to 1 g can be given as an intravenous bolus injection over approximately 5 minutes. There are limited safety data available to support the administration of a 2 g dose in adults as an intravenous bolus injection. Renal impairment The dose for adults and adolescents should be adjusted when creatinine clearance is less than 51 ml/min, as shown below. There are limited data to support the application of these dose adjustments for a unit dose of 2 g. Creatinine clearance (ml/min) Dose (based on “unit” dose range of 500 mg or 1 g Meropenem is cleared by haemodialysis and haemofiltration. The required dose should be administered after completion of the haemodialysis cycle. There are no established dose recommendations for patients receiving peritoneal dialysis. Hepatic impairment No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with hepatic impairment (see section 4.4). Dose in elderly patients No dose adjustment is required for the elderly with normal renal function or creatinine clearance values above 50 ml/min. Paediatric population Children under 3 months of age The safety and efficacy of meropenem in children under 3 months of age have not been established and the optimal dose regimen has not been identified. However, limited pharmacokinetic data suggest that 20 mg/kg every 8 hours may be an appropriate regimen (see section 5.2). Children from 3 months to 11 years of age and up to 50 kg body weight The recommended dose regimens are shown in the table below: Pneumonia including community-acquired pneumonia and nosocomial pneumonia Broncho-pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis Complicated skin and soft tissue infections Management of febrile neutropenic patients
Children over 50 kg body weight,
The adult dose should be administered.
There is no experience in children with renal impairment.
Meropenem is usually given by intravenous infusion over approximately 15 to 30 minutes (see sections 6.2,
6.3, and 6.6). Alternatively, meropenem doses of up to 20 mg/kg may be given as an intravenous bolus over
approximately 5 minutes. There are limited safety data available to support the administration of a 40 mg/kg
dose in children as an intravenous bolus injection.
4.3 Contraindications
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.
Hypersensitivity to any other carbapenem antibacterial agent.
Severe hypersensitivity (eg anaphylactic reaction, severe skin reaction) to any other type of betalactam
antibacterial agent (e.g. penicillins or cephalosporins)
4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use
The selection of meropenem to treat an individual patient should take into account the appropriateness of using
a carbapenem antibacterial agent based on factors such as severity of the infection, the prevalence of
resistance to other suitable antibacterial agents and the risk of selecting for carbapenem-resistant bacteria.
As with all beta-lactam antibiotics, serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity reactions have been reported
(see sections 4.3 and 4.8).
Patients who have a history of hypersensitivity to carbapenems, penicillins or other beta-lactam antibiotics
may also be hypersensitive to meropenem. Before initiating therapy with meropenem, careful inquiry should be
made concerning previous hypersensitivity reactions to beta-lactam antibiotics.
If a severe allergic reaction occurs, the medicinal product should be discontinued and appropriate measures
taken.
Antibiotic-associated colitis and pseudomembranous colitis have been reported with nearly all anti-bacterial
agents, including meropenem, and may range in severity from mild to life threatening. Therefore, it is
important to consider this diagnosis in patients who present with diarrhoea during or subsequent to the
administration of meropenem (see section 4.8). Discontinuation of therapy with meropenem and the
administration of specific treatment for Clostridium difficile should be considered. Medicinal products that
inhibit peristalsis should not be given.
Seizures have infrequently been reported during treatment with carbapenems, including meropenem (see
section 4.8).
Hepatic function should be closely monitored during treatment with meropenem due to the risk of hepatic
toxicity (hepatic dysfunction with cholestasis and cytolysis) (see section 4.8).
Use in patients with liver disease: patients with pre-existing liver disorders should have liver function
monitored during treatment with meropenem. There is no dose adjustment necessary (see section 4.2).
A positive direct or indirect Coombs test may develop during treatment with meropenem.
The concomitant use of meropenem and valproic acid/sodium valproate is not recommended (see section 4.5).
Meropenem Farmaplus contains sodium.
Meropenem Farmaplus 500 mg: This medicinal product contains approximately 2.0 mEq of sodium per
500 mg dose which should be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.
Meropenem Farmaplus 1.0 g: This medicinal product contains approximately 4.0 mEq of sodium per 1.0 g
dose which should be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.
4.5
Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
No specific medicinal product interaction studies other than probenecid were conducted. Probenecid competes with meropenem for active tubular secretion and thus inhibits the renal excretion of meropenem with the effect of increasing the elimination half-life and plasma concentration of meropenem. Caution is required if probenecid is co-administered with meropenem. The potential effect of meropenem on the protein binding of other medicinal products or metabolism has not
been studied. However, the protein binding is so low that no interactions with other compounds would be
expected on the basis of this mechanism.
Decreases in blood levels of valproic acid have been reported when it is co-administered with carbapenem
agents resulting in a 60-100 % decrease in valproic acid levels in about two days. Due to the rapid onset and
the extent of the decrease, co-administration of valproic acid with carbapenem agents is not considered to be
manageable and therefore should be avoided (see section 4.4).

Oral anti-coagulants

Simultaneous administration of antibiotics with warfarin may augment its anti-coagulant effects. There have
been many reports of increases in the anti-coagulant effects of orally administered anti-coagulant agents,
including warfarin in patients who are concomitantly receiving antibacterial agents. The risk may vary with
the underlying infection, age and general status of the patient so that the contribution of the antibiotic to the
increase in INR (international normalised ratio) is difficult to assess. It is recommended that the INR should be
monitored frequently during and shortly after co-administration of antibiotics with an oral anti-coagulant
agent.
4.6 Pregnancy and lactation
Pregnancy
There are no or limited amount of data from the use of meropenem in pregnant women.
Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to reproductive toxicity (see
section 5.3).
As a precautionary measure, it is preferable to avoid the use of meropenem during pregnancy.

Lactation

It is unknown whether meropenem is excreted in human milk. Meropenem is detectable at very low
concentrations in animal breast milk. A decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to
discontinue/abstain from meropenem therapy taking into account the benefit of therapy for the woman.

4.7

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

No studies on the effect on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed.
4.8
Undesirable effects
In a review of 4,872 patients with 5,026 meropenem treatment exposures, meropenem-related adverse reactions most frequently reported were diarrhoea (2.3 %), rash (1.4 %), nausea/vomiting (1.4 %) and injection site inflammation (1.1 %). The most commonly reported meropenem-related laboratory adverse events were thrombocytosis (1.6 %) and increased hepatic enzymes (1.5-4.3 %). Adverse reactions listed in the table with a frequency of “not known” were not observed in the 2,367 patients who were included in pre-authorisation clinical studies with intravenous and intramuscular meropenem but have been reported during the post-marketing period. In the table below all adverse reactions are listed by system organ class and frequency: very common ( 1/10); common ( 1/100 to <1/10); uncommon ( 1/1,000 to <1/100); rare ( 1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (< 1/10,000) and not known (cannot be estimated from the available data). Within each frequency grouping,
undesirable effects are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.

Table 1

System Organ Class
Frequency Event
Blood and lymphatic system disorders Common Uncommon eosinophilia, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, Not known agranulocytosis, haemolytic anaemia Not known angioedema, anaphylaxis (see sections 4.3 and 4.4) diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain Not known antibiotic-associated colitis (see section 4.4) transaminases increased, blood alkaline phosphatase increased, bloodlactate dehydrogenase increased. Not known toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens Johnson Uncommon blood creatinine increased, blood urea increased
4.9 Overdose

Relative overdose may be possible in patients with renal impairment if the dose is not adjusted as described in
section 4.2. Limited post-marketing experience indicates that if adverse reactions occur following overdose,
they are consistent with the adverse reaction profile described in section 4.8, are generally mild in severity and
resolve on withdrawal or dose reduction. Symptomatic treatments should be considered.
In individuals with normal renal function, rapid renal elimination will occur.
Haemodialysis will remove meropenem and its metabolite.
5. PHARMACOLOGICAL
PROPERTIES

5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: antibacterials for systemic use, carbapenems, ATC code: J01DH02
Mode of action
Meropenem exerts its bactericidal activity by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis in Gram-positive and
Gram-negative bacteria through binding to penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs).
Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) relationship
Similar to other beta-lactam antibacterial agents, the time that meropenem concentrations exceed the MIC
(T>MIC) has been shown to best correlate with efficacy. In preclinical models meropenem demonstrated
activity when plasma concentrations exceeded the MIC of the infecting organisms for approximately 40 % of
the dosing interval. This target has not been established clinically.
Mechanism of resistance
Bacterial resistance to meropenem may result from: (1) decreased permeability of the outer membrane of
Gram-negative bacteria (due to diminished production of porins) (2) reduced affinity of the target PBPs (3)
increased expression of efflux pump components, and (4) production of beta-lactamases that can hydrolyse
carbapenems.
Localised clusters of infections due to carbapenem-resistant bacteria have been reported in the European
Union.
There is no target-based cross-resistance between meropenem and agents of the quinolone, aminoglycoside,
macrolide and tetracycline classes. However, bacteria may exhibit resistance to more than one class of
antibacterials agents when the mechanism involved include impermeability and/or an efflux pump(s).
Breakpoints
European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) clinical breakpoints for MIC testing
are presented below.
EUCAST clinical MIC breakpoints for meropenem (2009-06-05, v 3.1)
Streptococcus groups A, B, C, G Haemophilus influenzae1 and Moraxella catarrhalis 1 Meropenem breakpoints for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae in meningitis are 0.25/1 mg/L. 2 Strains with MIC values above the S/I breakpoint are rare or not yet reported. The identification and antimicrobial susceptibility tests on any such isolate must be repeated and if the result is confirmed the isolate sent to a reference laboratory. Until there is evidence regarding clinical response for confirmed isolates with MIC above the current resistant breakpoint (in italics) they should be reported as resistant. 3 Susceptibility of staphylococci to meropenem is inferred from the methicillin susceptibility. 4 Meropenem breakpoints in Neisseria meningitidis relates to meningitis only. 5 Non-species related breakpoints have been determined mainly from PK/PD data and are independent of the MIC distributions of specific species. They are for use for species not mentioned in the table and footnotes. -- = Susceptibility testing not recommended as the species is a poor target for therapy with the medicinal The prevalence of acquired resistance may vary geographically and with time for selected species and local information on resistance is desirable, particularly when treating severe infections. As necessary, expert advice should be sought when the local prevalence of resistance is such that the utility of the agent in at least some types of infections is questionable. The following table of pathogens listed is derived from clinical experience and therapeutic guidelines. Commonly susceptible species Gram-positive aerobes Enterococcus faecalis$ Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible) £ Staphylococcus species (methicillin-susceptible) including Staphylococcus epidermidis Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B) Streptococcus milleri group (S. anginosus, S. constellatus, and S. intermedius) Streptococcus pneumoniae Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A) Gram-negative aerobes Citrobacter freudii Citrobacter koseri Enterobacter aerogenes Enterobacter cloacae Escherichia coli Haemophilus influenzae Klebsiella oxytoca Klebsiella pneumoniae Morganella morganii Neisseria meningitidis Proteus mirabilis Proteus vulgaris Serratia marcescens Gram-positive anaerobes Clostridium perfringens Peptoniphilus asaccharolyticus Peptostreptococcus species (including P. micros, P anaerobius, P. magnus)
Gram-negative anaerobes
Bacteroides caccae
Bacteroides fragilis group
Prevotella bivia
Prevotella disiens
Species for which acquired resistance may be a problem
Gram-positive aerobes
Enterococcus faecium$†
Gram-negative aerobes
Acinetobacter species
Burkholderia cepacia
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Inherently resistant organisms
Gram-negative aerobes
Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
Legionella species
Other micro-organisms
Chlamydophila pneumoniae
Chlamydophila psittaci
Coxiella burnetii
Mycoplasma pneumoniae
$Species that show natural intermediate susceptibility
£All methicillin-resistant staphylococci are resistant to meropenem
†Resistance rate 50% in one or more EU countries.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic

properties
In healthy subjects the mean plasma half-life is approximately 1 hour; the mean volume of distribution is approximately 0.25 l/kg (11-27 l) and the mean clearance is 287 ml/min at 250 mg falling to 205 ml/min at 2 g. Doses of 500, 1000 and 2000 mg doses infused over 30 minutes give mean Cmax values of approximately 23, 49 and 115 g/ml respectively, corresponding AUC values were 39.3, 62.3 and 153 g.h/ml. After infusion over 5 minutes Cmax values are 52 and 112 g/ml after 500 and 1000 mg doses respectively. When multiple doses are administered 8-hourly to subjects with normal renal function, accumulation of meropenem does not occur. A study of 12 patients administered meropenem 1000 mg 8 hourly post-surgically for intra-abdominal infections showed a comparable Cmax and half-life to normal subjects but a greater volume of distribution 27 l. Distribution The average plasma protein binding of meropenem was approximately 2 % and was independent of concentration. After rapid administration (5 minutes or less) the pharmacokinetics are biexponential but this is much less evident after 30 minutes infusion. Meropenem has been shown to penetrate well into several body fluids and tissues: including lung, bronchial secretions, bile, cerebrospinal fluid, gynaecological tissues, skin, fascia, muscle, and peritoneal exudates. Metabolism Meropenem is metabolised by hydrolysis of the beta-lactam ring generating a microbiologically inactive metabolite. In vitro meropenem shows reduced susceptibility to hydrolysis by human dehydropeptidase-I (DHP-I) compared to imipenem and there is no requirement to co-administer a DHP-I inhibitor. Elimination Meropenem is primarily excreted unchanged by the kidneys; approximately 70 % (50 –75 %) of the dose is excreted unchanged within 12 hours. A further 28% is recovered as the microbiologically inactive metabolite. Faecal elimination represents only approximately 2% of the dose. The measured renal clearance and the effect of probenecid show that meropenem undergoes both filtration and tubular secretion. Renal insufficiency Renal impairment results in higher plasma AUC and longer half-life for meropenem. There were AUC increases of 2.4 fold in patients with moderate impairment (CrCL 33-74 ml/min), 5 fold in severe impairment (CrCL 4-23 ml/min) and 10 fold in haemodialysis patients (CrCL <2 ml/min) when compared to healthy subjects (CrCL >80 ml/min). The AUC of the microbiologically inactive ring opened metabolite was also considerably increased in patients with renal impairment. Dose adjustment is recommended for patients with moderate and severe renal impairment (see section 4.2). Meropenem is cleared by haemodialysis with clearance during haemodialysis being approximately 4 times higher that in anuric patients. Hepatic insufficiency A study in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis shows no effect of liver disease on the pharmacokinetics of meropenem after repeated doses. Adult patients Pharmacokinetic studies performed in patients have not shown significant pharmacokinetic differences versus healthy subjects with equivalent renal function. A population model developed from data in 79 patients with intra-abdominal infection or pneumonia, showed a dependence of the central volume on weight and the clearance on creatinine clearance and age. Paediatrics The pharmacokinetics in infants and children with infection at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mg/kg showed Cmax values approximating to those in adults following 500, 1000 and 2000 mg doses, respectively. Comparison showed consistent pharmacokinetics between the doses and half-lives similar to those observed in adults in all but the youngest subjects (<6 months t1/2 1.6 hours). The mean meropenem clearance values were 5.8 ml/min/kg (6-12 years), 6.2 ml/min/kg (2-5 years), 5.3 ml/min/kg (6-23 months) and 4.3 ml/min/kg (2-5 months). Approximately 60 % of the dose is excreted in urine over 12 hours as meropenem with a further 12 % as metabolite. Meropenem concentrations in the CSF of children with meningitis are approximately 20 % of concurrent plasma levels although there is significant inter-individual variability. The pharmacokinetics of meropenem in neonates requiring anti-infective treatment showed greater clearance in neonates with higher chronological or gestational age with an overall average half-life of 2.9 hours. Monte Carlo simulation based on a population PK model showed that a dose regimen of 20 mg/kg 8 hourly achieved 60 %T>MIC for P. aeruginosa in 95 % of pre-term and 91 % of full term neonates.
Elderly
Pharmacokinetic studies in healthy elderly subjects (65-80 years) have shown a reduction in plasma clearance,
which correlated with age-associated reduction in creatinine clearance, and a smaller reduction in non-renal
clearance. No dose adjustment is required in elderly patients, except in cases of moderate to severe renal
impairment (see section 4.2)

5.3 Preclinical safety data

Animal studies indicate that meropenem is well tolerated by the kidney. Histological evidence of renal tubular
damage was seen in mice and dogs only at doses of 2000 mg/kg and above after a single administration and
above and in monkeys at 500 mg/kg in a 7-day study.
Meropenem is generally well tolerated by the central nervous system. Effects were seen in acute toxicity
studies in rodent at doses exceeding 1000 mg/kg.
In repeat dose studies of up to 6 months duration only minor effects were seen including a decrease in red cell
parameters in dogs.
There was no evidence of mutagenic potential in a conventional test battery and no evidence of reproductive
toxicity including teratogenic potential in studies in rats up to 750 mg/kg and in monkeys up to 360 mg/kg.
There was increased evidence of abortions at 500 mg/kg in a preliminary study in monkeys.
There was no evidence of increased sensitivity to meropenem in juveniles compared to adult animals. The
intravenous formulation was well tolerated in animal studies.
The sole metabolite of meropenem had a similar profile of toxicity in animal studies.

6.

PHARMACEUTICAL
PARTICULARS

6.1 List of excipients

Sodium carbonate
6.2 Incompatibilities
This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products except those mentioned in section
6.6.
6.3 Shelf
2 years. After reconstitution: The reconstituted solutions for intravenous injection or infusion should be used immediately. The time interval between the beginning of reconstitution and the end of intravenous injection or infusion should not exceed one hour. 6.4 Special precautions for storage

Do not store above 30°C. Do not freeze.
Solutions of Meropenem should not be frozen.
6.5
Nature and contents of container

Type 1 glass tubular vials closed with Bromobutyl rubber stopper and sealed with grey flip off aluminium
seal.

Packs for intravenous administration
Pack of 1 vial or 10 vials containing 500 mg or 1 g meropenem.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

Meropenem Farmaplus 500 mg powder for solution for injection or infusion and 1 g is compatible with the
following infusion fluids:
0.9% Sodium Chloride solution
5% Glucose solution
Water for injections
Each vial is for single use only.
Standard aseptic techniques should be used for solution preparation and administration.
The solution should be shaken before use.
Any unused product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
7.
MARKETING
AUTHORISATION

FarmaPlus AS
Sørkedalsveien 10 B
NO-0369 Oslo
Norway
8.
MARKETING AUTHORISATION NUMBER(S)

[To be completed nationally]

9.
DATE OF FIRST AUTHORISATION/RENEWAL OF THE AUTHORISATION

[To be completed nationally]
10.
DATE OF REVISION OF THE TEXT

Source: http://www.farmaplus.no/eng/content/download/129/896/version/11/file/SPC%20Meropenem%20FarmaPlus.pdf

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