Current status of newer carbapenems

Matteo Bassetti, Laura Nicolini, Silvano Esposito, Elda Righi, Claudio Viscoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Beta-lactam antibiotics represent the most commonly prescribed antibacterial agents. Since many bacteria have developed resistance to older agents, new beta-lactams have been introduced constantly. In the late 1970s, a new class of exceptionally broad-spectrum beta-lactams, the carbapenems, was identified. The carbapenems, such as the most popular imipenem and meropenem, have the widest spectra of antibacterial activity of all the beta-lactams and provide excellent coverage of many gram-negative and gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Despite the wide antibacterial spectrum, the carbapenems globally lack activity against Enterococcus faecium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Methods: We reviewed the principal characteristics of the novel carbapenems and their clinical implications. Results and conclusions: We included in our review: ertapenem, biapenem, panipenem, doripenem, tebipenem pivoxil and tomopenem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-575
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Biapenem
  • Carbapenems
  • Doripenem
  • Ertapenem
  • Imipenem
  • Meropenem
  • Panipenem
  • Tebipenem pivoxil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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