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Ertapenem is a carbapenem antibiotic usually reserved for complicated infections. Drug-induced neurotoxicity is a rare adverse reaction associated with ertapenem, and may be directly related to its chemical structure. We report a case of a 64-year-old male with a hematological history and chronic prostatitis that was admitted to hospital for gait instability, clumsiness, dysarthria and tremors. He started ertapenem intravenous 1 g once daily a week prior to admission. Creatinine clearance calculation by the Cockcroft-Gault method was 52 mL/min and total protein levels were low. Ertapenem's administration was discontinued and the patient's neurological symptoms improved dramatically just one day after. The result of the Naranjo Scale was six, suggesting a probable adverse drug reaction. We discussed if he could receive meropenem in case of severe infection such as septic shock. Considering the patient's medical history, the chemical structure of meropenem and the fact that there are almost no reported cases of neurotoxicity from this drug, we assume that meropenem could be used in case of severe infection in patients with history of neurotoxicity caused by ertapenem if no added risk factors are present, such as renal failure. © 2021. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


Beatriz Fernández-Rubio, Rafael Luque-Márquez, María-Victoria Gil-Navarro. Probable ertapenem-induced encephalopathy; case report and suggested alternatives for chronic prostatitis. Daru : journal of Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. 2022 Jun;30(1):159-163

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PMID: 35023080

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