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Imipenem/cilastatin is a broad spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic containing equal quantities of imipenem and cilastatin. It is related to the penicillin/cephalosporin family of antibiotics but is classified as belonging to the carbapenem class. It has the ability to kill a wide variety of bacteria. It works by interfering with their ability to form cell walls, and therefore the bacteria break up and die.

Imipenem, the active antibacterial agent, is rapidly degraded by the renal enzyme dehydropeptidase if administered alone (making it less effective). Cilastatin is a dehydropeptidase inhibitor, with no intrinsic antibacterial activity, and must be co-administered with imipenem to ensure its efficacy. Cilastatin blocks the effects of the renal enzyme. Cilastatin has no antibacterial effects and does not affect the antibacterial activity of the imipenim.

The usual dose for adults is 500 mg every 6 hours. This drug is given by injection or infusion and is generally used to treat severe infections. It may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people who have had an allergic reaction to a penicillin in the past.

Imipenem/cilastatin is marketed by Merck & Co. under the trade names Primaxin and Tienam. The combination is also marketed by Ranbaxy Laboratories in India under the brand name Cilanim.

Imipenem/cilastatin is marketed by Highnoon Laboratories Ltd. in Pakistan under the the trade name "Prepenem". Prepenem was launched by Highnoon in May 2007 and was the first generic brand after the research brand Tienam. Prepenem was launched by Kashif Iftikhar, the former Product Manager.

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