Average plasma concentrations (mcg/mL) of ertapenem following a single 30-minute infusion of a 1 g intravenous (IV) dose and administration of a single 1 g intramuscular (IM) dose in healthy young adults are presented in Table 1.
Table 1: Plasma Concentrations of Ertapenem in Adults After Single Dose Administration
|Average Plasma Concentrations (mcg/mL)|
|Dose/Route||0.5 hr||1 hr||2 hr||4 hr||6 hr||8 hr||12 hr||18 hr||24 hr|
|1 g IV
|1 g IM||33||53||67||57||40||27||13||4||2|
The area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of ertapenem in adults increased less-than dose-proportional based on total ertapenem concentrations over the 0.5 to 2 g dose range, whereas the AUC increased greater-than dose-proportional based on unbound ertapenem concentrations. Ertapenem exhibits non-linear pharmacokinetics due to concentration-dependent plasma protein binding at the proposed therapeutic dose. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Distribution.)
There is no accumulation of ertapenem following multiple IV or IM 1 g daily doses in healthy adults.
Average plasma concentrations (mcg/mL) of ertapenem in pediatric patients are presented in Table 2.
Table 2: Plasma Concentrations of Ertapenem in Pediatric Patients after Single IV
|Age Group||Dose||Average Plasma Concentrations (mcg/mL)|
|0.5 hr||1 hr||2 hr||4 hr||6 hr||8 hr||12 hr||24 hr|
|3 to 23 months||15 mg/kg
|2 to 12 years||15 mg/kg||113.2||63.9||42.1||21.9||12.8||7.6||3.0||-|
|13 to 17 years||20 mg/kg||170.4||98.3||67.8||40.4||-||16.0||7.0||1.1|
Ertapenem, reconstituted with 1% lidocaine HCl injection, USP (in saline without epinephrine), is almost completely absorbed following intramuscular (IM) administration at the recommended dose of 1 g. The mean bioavailability is approximately 90%. Following 1 g daily IM administration, mean peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) are achieved in approximately 2.3 hours (Tmax).
Ertapenem is highly bound to human plasma proteins, primarily albumin. In healthy young adults, the protein binding of ertapenem decreases as plasma concentrations increase, from approximately 95% bound at an approximate plasma concentration of <100 micrograms (mcg)/mL to approximately 85% bound at an approximate plasma concentration of 300 mcg/mL.
The apparent volume of distribution at steady state (Vss) of ertapenem in adults is approximately 0.12 liter/kg, approximately 0.2 liter/kg in pediatric patients 3 months to 12 years of age and approximately 0.16 liter/kg in pediatric patients 13 to 17 years of age.
The concentrations of ertapenem achieved in suction-induced skin blister fluid at each sampling point on the third day of 1 g once daily IV doses are presented in Table 3. The ratio of AUC0-24 in skin blister fluid/AUC0-24 in plasma is 0.61.
Table 3: Concentrations (mcg/mL) of Ertapenem in Adult Skin Blister Fluid at each Sampling Point on the Third Day of 1-g Once Daily IV Doses
|0.5 hr||1 hr||2 hr||4 hr||8 hr||12 hr||24 hr|
The concentration of ertapenem in breast milk from 5 lactating women with pelvic infections (5 to 14 days postpartum) was measured at random time points daily for 5 consecutive days following the last 1 g dose of intravenous therapy (3-10 days of therapy). The concentration of ertapenem in breast milk within 24 hours of the last dose of therapy in all 5 women ranged from <0.13 (lower limit of quantitation) to 0.38 mcg/mL; peak concentrations were not assessed. By day 5 after discontinuation of therapy, the level of ertapenem was undetectable in the breast milk of 4 women and below the lower limit of quantitation (<0.13 mcg/mL) in 1 woman.
In healthy young adults, after infusion of 1 g IV radiolabeled ertapenem, the plasma radioactivity consists predominantly (94%) of ertapenem. The major metabolite of ertapenem is the inactive ring-opened derivative formed by hydrolysis of the beta-lactam ring.
In vitro studies in human liver microsomes indicate that ertapenem does not inhibit metabolism mediated by any of the following cytochrome p450 (CYP) isoforms: 1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1 and 3A4. (See PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions.)
In vitro studies indicate that ertapenem does not inhibit P-glycoprotein-mediated transport of digoxin or vinblastine and that ertapenem is not a substrate for P-glycoprotein-mediated transport. (See PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions.)
Ertapenem is eliminated primarily by the kidneys. The mean plasma half-life in healthy young adults is approximately 4 hours and the plasma clearance is approximately 1.8 L/hour. The mean plasma half-life in pediatric patients 13 to 17 years of age is approximately 4 hours and approximately 2.5 hours in pediatric patients 3 months to 12 years of age.
Following the administration of 1 g IV radiolabeled ertapenem to healthy young adults, approximately 80% is recovered in urine and 10% in feces. Of the 80% recovered in urine, approximately 38% is excreted as unchanged drug and approximately 37% as the ring-opened metabolite.
In healthy young adults given a 1 g IV dose, the mean percentage of the administered dose excreted in urine was 17.4% during 0-2 hours postdose, 5.4% during 4-6 hours postdose, and 2.4% during 12-24 hours postdose.
Total and unbound fractions of ertapenem pharmacokinetics were investigated in 26 adult subjects (31 to 80 years of age) with varying degrees of renal impairment. Following a single 1 g IV dose of ertapenem, the unbound AUC increased 1.5-fold and 2.3-fold in subjects with mild renal insufficiency (CLCR 60-90 mL/min/1.73 m2) and moderate renal insufficiency (CLCR 31-59 mL/min/1.73 m2), respectively, compared with healthy young subjects (25 to 45 years of age). No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with CLCR≥31 mL/min/1.73 m2. The unbound AUC increased 4.4-fold and 7.6-fold in subjects with advanced renal insufficiency (CLCR 5-30 mL/min/1.73 m2) and end-stage renal insufficiency (CLCR<10 mL/min/1.73 m2), respectively, compared with healthy young subjects. The effects of renal insufficiency on AUC of total drug were of smaller magnitude. The recommended dose of ertapenem in adult patients with CLCR≤30 mL/min/1.73 m2 is 0.5 grams every 24 hours. Following a single 1 g IV dose given immediately prior to a 4 hour hemodialysis session in 5 adult patients with end-stage renal insufficiency, approximately 30% of the dose was recovered in the dialysate. A supplementary dose of 150 mg is recommended if ertapenem is administered within 6 hours prior to hemodialysis. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) There are no data in pediatric patients with renal insufficiency.
The pharmacokinetics of ertapenem in patients with hepatic insufficiency have not been established. However, ertapenem does not appear to undergo hepatic metabolism based on in vitro studies and approximately 10% of an administered dose is recovered in the feces. (See PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
The effect of gender on the pharmacokinetics of ertapenem was evaluated in healthy male (n=8) and healthy female (n=8) subjects. The differences observed could be attributed to body size when body weight was taken into consideration. No dose adjustment is recommended based on gender.
The impact of age on the pharmacokinetics of ertapenem was evaluated in healthy male (n=7) and healthy female (n=7) subjects ≥65 years of age. The total and unbound AUC increased 37% and 67%, respectively, in elderly adults relative to young adults. These changes were attributed to age-related changes in creatinine clearance. No dosage adjustment is necessary for elderly patients with normal (for their age) renal function.
Plasma concentrations of ertapenem are comparable in pediatric patients 13 to 17 years of age and adults following a 1 g once daily IV dose.
Following the 20 mg/kg dose (up to a maximum dose of 1 g), the pharmacokinetic parameter values in patients 13 to 17 years of age (N=6) were generally comparable to those in healthy young adults.
Plasma concentrations at the midpoint of the dosing interval following a single 15 mg/kg IV dose of ertapenem in patients 3 months to 12 years of age are comparable to plasma concentrations at the midpoint of the dosing interval following a 1 g once daily IV dose in adults (see Pharmacokinetics.) The plasma clearance (mL/min/kg) of ertapenem in patients 3 months to 12 years of age is approximately 2-fold higher as compared to that in adults. At the 15 mg/kg dose, the AUC value (doubled to model a twice daily dosing regimen, i.e., 30 mg/kg/day exposure) in patients 3 months to 12 years of age was comparable to the AUC value in young healthy adults receiving a 1 g IV dose of ertapenem.
Ertapenem has in vitro activity against gram-positive and gram-negative aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. The bactericidal activity of ertapenem results from the inhibition of cell wall synthesis and is mediated through ertapenem binding to penicillin binding proteins (PBPs). In Escherichia coli, it has strong affinity toward PBPs 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4 and 5 with preference for PBPs 2 and 3. Ertapenem is stable against hydrolysis by a variety of beta-lactamases, including penicillinases, and cephalosporinases and extended spectrum beta-lactamases. Ertapenem is hydrolyzed by metallo-beta-lactamases.
Ertapenem has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms in vitro and in clinical infections. (See INDICATIONS AND USAGE):
Aerobic and facultative gram-positive microorganisms:
Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin susceptible isolates only)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin susceptible isolates only)
Note: Methicillin-resistant staphylococci and Enterococcus spp. are resistant to ertapenem.
Aerobic and facultative gram-negative microorganisms:
Haemophilus influenzae (Beta-lactamase negative isolates only)
The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown .
At least 90% of the following microorganisms exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for ertapenem; however, the safety and effectiveness of ertapenem in treating clinical infections due to these microorganisms have not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical studies:
Aerobic and facultative gram-positive microorganisms:
Staphylococcus epidermidis (methicillin susceptible isolates only)
Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin-intermediate isolates only)
Aerobic and facultative gram-negative microorganisms:
Haemophilus influenzae (Beta-lactamase positive isolates)
Klebsiella oxytoca (excluding ESBL producing isolates)
Susceptibility Test Methods:
When available, the results of in vitro susceptibility tests should be provided to the physician as periodic reports which describe the susceptibility profile of nosocomial and community-acquired pathogens. These reports should aid the physician in selecting the most effective antimicrobial.
Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized procedure. Standardized procedures are based on a broth dilution method(1, 2) or equivalent with standardized inoculum concentrations and standardized concentrations of ertapenem powder. The MIC values should be interpreted according to criteria provided in Table 4.
Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. One such standardized procedure(2, 3) requires the use of standardized inoculum concentrations. This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 10-µg ertapenem to test the susceptibility of microorganisms to ertapenem. The disk diffusion interpretive criteria should be interpreted according to criteria provided in Table 4.
For anaerobic bacteria, the susceptibility to ertapenem as MICs can be determined by standardized test methods(4). The MIC values obtained should be interpreted according to criteria provided in Table 4.
Table 4: Susceptibility Interpretive Criteria for Ertapenem
|Pathogen||Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations
Zone Diameter (mm)
| Haemophilus spp.||≤0.5||-||-||≥19||-||-|
| Streptococcus pneumoniae
| Streptococcus spp. other than Streptococcus pneumoniae
| Anaerobes ||≤4.0||8.0||≥16.0||-||-||-|
Note: Staphylococcus spp. can be considered susceptible to ertapenem if the penicillin MIC is ≤0.12 µg/mL. If the penicillin MIC is >0.12 µg/mL, then test oxacillin. Staphylococcus aureus can be considered susceptible to ertapenem if the oxacillin MIC is ≤2.0 µg/mL and resistant to ertapenem if the oxacillin MIC is ≥4.0 µg/mL. Coagulase negative staphylococci can be considered susceptible to ertapenem if the oxacillin MIC is ≤0.25 µg/mL and resistant to ertapenem if the oxacillin MIC ≥0.5 µg/mL.
Staphylococcus spp. can be considered susceptible to ertapenem if the penicillin (10 U disk) zone is ≥29 mm. If the penicillin zone is ≤28 mm, then test oxacillin by disk diffusion (1 µg disk). Staphylococcus aureus can be considered susceptible to ertapenem if the oxacillin (1 µg disk) zone is ≥13 mm and resistant to ertapenem if the oxacillin zone is ≤10 mm. Coagulase negative staphylococci can be considered susceptible to ertapenem if the oxacillin zone is ≥18 mm and resistant to ertapenem if the oxacillin (1 µg disk) zone is ≤17 mm.
A report of “Susceptible” indicates that the pathogen is likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable. A report of “Intermediate” indicates that the result should be considered equivocal, and, if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where high dosage of drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone which prevents small uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of “Resistant” indicates that the pathogen is not likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable; other therapy should be selected.
Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory control microorganisms to control the technical aspects of the laboratory procedures (1, 2, 3, 4). Quality control microorganisms are specific strains of organisms with intrinsic biological properties. QC strains are very stable strains which will give a standard and repeatable susceptibility pattern. The specific strains used for microbiological quality control are not clinically significant. Standard ertapenem powder should provide the following range of values noted in Table 5.
Table 5: Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for Ertapenem
| Microorganism ||Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations|
MIC Range (µg/mL)
Zone Diameter (mm)
| Escherichia coli ATCC 25922||0.004-0.016||29-36|
| Haemophilus influenzae ATCC 49766||0.016-0.06||27-33|
| Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213||0.06-0.25||-|
| Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923||-||24-31|
| Streptococcus pneumoniae ATCC 49619||0.03-0.25||28-35|
| Bacteroides fragilis ATCC 25285||
| Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron ATCC 29741||
| Eubacterium lentum ATCC 43055||
In repeat-dose studies in rats, treatment-related neutropenia occurred at every dose-level tested, including the lowest dose of 2 mg/kg (approximately 2% of the human dose on a body surface area basis).
Studies in rabbits and Rhesus monkeys were inconclusive with regard to the effect on neutrophil counts.