Cilastatin is a drug prescribed in combination with an antibiotic to treat various bacterial infections. While Cilastatin is not an antibiotic itself, it does help to inhibit the human enzyme dehydropeptidase in the kidney for improving the effectiveness of the combination antibiotic.

While it is the Imipenem that is the active antibiotic in the combined drug Imipenem/Cilastatin, the Imipenem gets degraded by dehydropeptidase, an enzyme present in kidneys. So Imipenem is less effective on its own as it gets degraded quickly in the kidneys, but when it is clubbed with Imipenem in equal proportions, it reduces the production of dehydropeptidase. This is what makes Imipenem more effective and can help the action of Imipenem for a longer duration.

Cilastatin and Imipenem are together sold under the trade name of Primaxin, Tienam and Zienam by Merck and Co. It is also marketed by an Indian Company under the trade name of Cilanem.

The drug as a combination drug with Imipenem is used for treating diseases caused by bacteria such as pneumonia and gynaecological problems, stomach issues, blood bone problems, urinary tract, heart valve and bone conditions. The treatment duration and strength depends on how your condition is and how you are responding to the medicine, so it is important to keep all appointments with your doctor or healthcare provider.

This drug is given as an intravenous fluid or injected into a large muscle, like thigh muscle. This combination drug has power to eliminate bacteria or kill bacteria responsible for disease.

However, it is important to know the side effects of this compound when administered with Imipenem. This drug is known to cause seizures, so a close watch is important while the drug is administered. You can also have upset stomach, vomiting and stomach pain. If these symptoms persist then it is important to consult your doctor. The other side effects that may happen and warrant quick information to your doctor are rash, itching and chills. On the other hand, diarrhoea, fever, difficulty breathing, unusual bleeding, decreased urination, confusion, sore mouth or throat and wheezing are some of the other symptoms. In fact before administering the drug, the effectiveness and the side effects may be measured by your health care provider by doing certain laboratory tests and physical examinations. Only when the reports are clear, this drug treatment is prescribed.

There are also lots of precautions that are required before administering Imipenem and Cilastatin combination. The drug can interfere with other medications so it is important that your doctor is informed about any antibiotics that you are taking already. Even if you are taking some vitamins, please inform your doctor about that. Any previous known allergy to imipenem, penicillin, cephalosporins, cefadroxil, and cephalexin should be informed to your doctor.

To avoid any contraindications during pregnancy it is important to inform your doctor about your pregnancy. Even if you are breast feeding mother please check with your doctor. You need to immediately call the doctor if you become pregnant during the treatment.

If you have seizures, or any brain, kidney, liver injury or asthma or even some gastrointestinal disease such as colitis your doctor must know that upfront. Please also do not forget to inform if you are a diabetic as your tests can be false while you are taking this drug.

If you are storing your medicine yourself you must take advice from your doctor or healthcare provider. While being stored the drug has to be refrigerated and only taken out an hour before administration to bring it to a room temperature. It has to be kept in a clean and dry place once out of the refrigerator. Any overdose of this drug may be immediately reported to local emergency services.