In the USA alone, there are about four carbapenems. In Japan, there are others and the same applies for the UK, Pakistan, Thailand and other countries in the world. Therefore, the question in the minds of many people is whether the carbapenems are all the same or whether there is a difference. While they share the same basic characteristics, of course they are different from one another. For example, they are administered in different dosages. The good news is that there is a lot of information on the internet regarding these powerful antibiotics.
It is very important that you know how they compare in the market. As much as you would like to say that it is the doctor’s work to know what he/she is prescribing for you, remember that it is you who will be taking the drugs and therefore you had better know what will be going into your body. Such information is available from many sources but one thing you can be sure of is that the carbapenems in the market are different in several aspects.
With so many choices for carbapenems in the market, it can be a tricky for a medical practitioner to really choose the most appropriate ones. However, this just calls for a simple study into the structural differences of the antibiotics, their side effects and so forth. It is important to say that most of these potent antibiotics have no adverse side effects. The most that any one of them has ever shown is diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and irritation at the injection site. Thus, we can safely assume that they are all safe. However, as a practitioner, you will need to look into deeper details than those.
Among some of the things that a medical practitioner has to consider is the therapeutic equivalence of the antibiotics. For example, it has been established that Imipenem is far different from meropenem in ways other than the fact that it cures different types of bacterial infections, different from what Meropenem cures. For example, people taking meropenem would have to take a double dose a day of what people taking Imipenem.
In order to understand further differences in the antibiotics available in the market, it would be smart to do some background check on how they operate. Of course, all carbapenems are equal in the fact that they all bind themselves to the penicillin binding proteins, also called PBP. That way, they prevent further activity from happening in the cell. It has been established that the more affinity that a Carbapenem has to the PBP 1, 2 or 3, then the more potent it is. Thus, it has been established that meropenem and ertapenem have the highest affinity to the PBP and therefore they do not need to be administered together with an inhibitor agent. On the other hand, Imipenem shows less affinity to PBP and therefore it has to be administered in accompaniment to an agent.
What is the affinity of the carbapenems against the gram negative and gram-positive bacilli? This is another consideration that must be borne in mind. It has been established that some carbapenems have more affinity to the gram-positive aerobic bacteria. A good example of this is the Imipenem/cilastatin. Almost all carbapenems in the market has shown poor affinity to the PBP 5 and PBP 2a.
There are so many considerations to make before a medical practitioner can settle on any one antibiotic in the market. Other things to bear in mind are like the side effects, parental agents and even the mechanism of action. How does the antibiotic do its work? This is the same as considering the binding activity. A bit of medical expertise is needed to make a decision but with reviews on the internet to guide one, it should not be hard to choose the best Carbapenem.