Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about PRIMAXIN. It does not contain all
the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using
PRIMAXIN against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about being given this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet.
You may need to read it again.
What PRIMAXIN is used for
PRIMAXIN is an antibiotic which is used to treat serious infections caused by bacteria.
These infections may occur in many different parts of the body.
PRIMAXIN is sometimes given in addition to other antibiotics.
PRIMAXIN works by killing the bacteria causing the infection.
Before you are given PRIMAXIN
When you must not be given it
Do not use PRIMAXIN if you have an allergy to PRIMAXIN or any of the ingredients listed
at the end of this leaflet
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if:
1. you are pregnant or are breast-feeding
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using PRIMAXIN during
pregnancy and breast-feeding. PRIMAXIN passes into breast milk and may be passed on
to the baby.
2. you have any medical conditions, especially the following:
colitis or any other gastrointestinal disease
any central nervous system disorders, such as localised tremors, or seizures (fits)
kidney or urinary problems
3. you have any allergies to other antibiotics, in particular, penicillins and cephalosporins
If you are allergic to any of these, you may be allergic to PRIMAXIN.
4. if you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as
foods, preservatives or dyes.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are
PRIMAXIN should not be used in children under 3 months of age or children with kidney
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you
buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may affect the way other medicines, including PRIMAXIN work.
Tell your doctor if you are taking:
Sodium valproate (medicine used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, migraine or schizophrenia)
Ganciclovir (a medicine used to treat some viral infections)
Probenecid (a medicine used to treat gout)
Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you what to do when being given PRIMAXIN
with other medicines.
How PRIMAXIN is given
PRIMAXIN will be prepared and given to you by a doctor or nurse. It is given as a
slow injection into a vein.
Your doctor will decide what dose of PRIMAXIN you will receive, depending upon your
condition and the severity of your infection.
PRIMAXIN is usually given in divided doses throughout the day.
Your doctor will let you know when you may stop receiving PRIMAXIN.
While you are using PRIMAXIN
Things you must do
If you feel sick while you are receiving PRIMAXIN, tell your doctor, pharmacist or
Your doctor may need to slow down the rate of the injection.
If you develop severe diarrhoea, even if it occurs several weeks after PRIMAXIN has
been stopped, tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
Diarrhoea may mean that you have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may
need urgent medical care. Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking
with your doctor.
If you develop a severe skin reaction such as painful red areas, fluid-filled bumps,
large blisters, or peeling of layers of skin whilst being given PRIMAXIN, tell your
You may need urgent medical care.
If you have a history of seizures and you are taking anticonvulsant medicines, tell
You should continue taking these medicines unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Some patients may develop tremors or seizures while receiving PRIMAXIN.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how PRIMAXIN affects you.
PRIMAXIN generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or
operate machinery. However, it may cause dizziness or lightheadedness in some people.
Make sure you know how you react to PRIMAXIN before you drive a car or operating machinery.
Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well
while you are being given PRIMAXIN.
PRIMAXIN helps most people with infection, but it may have unwanted side-effects in
a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most
of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side
effects. PRIMAXIN generally does not cause any problems.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
pain, swelling or red skin where you had the injection
These are the more common side effects of PRIMAXIN.
Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you notice any of the following:
high temperature, also called fever
seizures or fits
tingling or numbness of the hands and feet
fast or irregular heart beat, also called palpitations
passing little or no urine (water)
bruising more easily than normal
signs of frequent or worrying infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat
or mouth ulcers
signs of anaemia, such as tiredness, being short of breath, and looking pale
yellowing of the skin and eyes, also called jaundice
skin problems such as rash or itchiness
red or purplish-red patches on the skin
severe skin reactions, such as painful red areas, fluid-filled bumps, large blisters,
or peeling of layers of skin have been reported for the beta-lactam class of antibiotics
severe abdominal or stomach cramps
watery and severe diarrhoea, which may also be bloody
These are serious side effects of PRIMAXIN. You may need urgent medical attention.
Serious side effects are rare.
A few people may be allergic to some medicines. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately
if you notice any of the following:
dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting
swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing
shortness of breath
itchy skin rash
pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettlerash
If you have these, you may have had a serious allergic reaction to PRIMAXIN. You may
need urgent medical attention.
Also, tell your doctor if you notice:
staining of the teeth and/or tongue
a change in the colour of your urine
These are other side effects that have been reported with PRIMAXIN.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor
if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
After PRIMAXIN has been stopped
Things you must do
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects particularly
if they occur several weeks after stopping treatment with PRIMAXIN:
severe abdominal cramps or stomach cramps
watery and severe diarrhoea, which may also be bloody
These are all serious side effects. You may have a serious condition affecting your
bowel. You may need urgent medical attention. Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without
first checking with your doctor.
PRIMAXIN will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward.
The powder for injection is kept in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below
25 degrees C.
Do not use PRIMAXIN if the expiry date (EXP) printed on the carton has passed.
imipenem 500 mg and cilastatin 500 mg (as the sodium salt) per vial
PRIMAXIN is supplied in Australia by:
Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited
Level 1, Building A, 26 Talavera Road,
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
This leaflet was prepared in October 2020.
Australian Registration Number:
PRIMAXIN - AUST R 10509