The reference site for Piperacillin

Piperacillin is a broad-spectrum β-lactam antibiotic of the ureidopenicillin class.

WHAT IS Piperacillin?

Piperacillin is an extended spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic of the ureidopenicillin class. It is normally used together with the beta-lactamase inhibitor tazobactam to form the branded version Tazocin® or Zosyn®(marketed by Wyeth-Ayerst). The combination of these two fights against many gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens and anaerobes, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This combination is mainly used in intensive care medicine (pneumonia, peritonitis), some diabetes-related foot infections and empirical therapy in febrile neutropenia (e.g. after chemotherapy).

Piperacillin and tazobactam are also used to treat many other kinds of infections including those of the skin, blood, central nervous system, respiratory tract, sinuses, urinary tract, and certain infections in women (gynecological infections).


Brand Name(s): Pipracil; Tazocin; Zosyn (combination with tazobactam)
CAS nº: 66258-76-2


Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to piperacillin and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Piperacillin was first approved by the FDA in 1981. Following this, in 1993, the FDA approved the brand name Zosyn® (a combination of piperacillin with tazobactam).

However, Wyeth-Lederle discontinued marketing Pipracil® (piperacillin injection) in 2002. Piperacillin sodium injection is no longer available in the U.S., and if you are currently taking piperacillin sodium injection, you should call your doctor to discuss switching to another treatment.

In November 2003, a new generic piperacillin product was FDA-approved. Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Piperacillin/tazobactam is a medication that is administered intravenously. It is effective against ß-lactamase-producing, piperacillin/tazobactam-susceptible organisms and is labeled for a variety of indications including appendicitis, peritonitis, uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and community-acquired pneumonia.

This medication is also used to treat some diabetes-related foot infections, empirical therapy in febrile neutropenia (e.g. after chemotherapy), and other kinds of infections including those of the blood, central nervous system, sinuses, urinary tract, and certain infections in women (gynecological infections).

Other uses for this medicine

This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.

Dosage and using this medicine

The piperacillin/tazobactam combination comes in a solution and powder form that are to be administered intravenously (into a vein).

Follow the directions on the prescription label and never use your medicine more often than directed.

Use your doses at regular intervals.

Finish the full course prescribed by your doctor or health care professional even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop using this medication unless told to do so by your doctor.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What special precautions should I follow?


Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to this medication, penicillin, or if you have any other allergies.

Moreover, please inform your doctor if you have pre-existing kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, seizures, or other illnesses.

Piperacillin/tazobactam contains sodium. This could affect you if you are on a salt-restricted diet or if you have a condition which could be worsened by an increase in salt intake (e.g., congestive heart failure). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

It is important that you also tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially other antibiotics, “blood thinners”, blood pressure medication, or methotrexate.

Piperacillin/tazobactam may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. Discuss using other methods of birth control with your doctor.

Piperacillin/tazobactam may make you dizzy, so you are strongly advised to use cautiously when engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys, therefore elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially salt retention.

Piperacillin/tazobactam should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Since small amounts of this medication are found in breast milk, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. However, do not use it if it is near the time for the next dose, and simply skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.

Important notice: Do not “double-up” the dose to catch up.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach upset, or loose stools may occur in the first few days as your body adjusts to piperacillin/tazobactam. You may also experience pain or irritation at the injection site. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor straight away.

However, please notify your doctor if you develop:

– vomiting or diarrhea
– fever
– chest pain
– anxiety
– unusual bleeding or bruising

Moreover, this medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (pseudomembranous colitis) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur weeks after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop:

– persistent diarrhea
– abdominal or stomach pain/cramping
– blood/mucus in your stool

Additionally, use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush, or a new yeast infection (e.g., oral or vaginal fungal infection). Contact your doctor if you notice:

– white patches in your mouth
– a change in vaginal discharge
– other new symptoms

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:

– a rash
– itching or swelling
– severe dizziness
– trouble breathing.

If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Store single-dose of piperacillin/tazobactam vials at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C). Do not freeze. Additionally, pharmacy bulk vials should be stored at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C). Do not store in bathroom.

Remember to check the expiration date on the label and properly discard of any unused medication after that time.

Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of a suspected overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing,  then please call the local emergency services immediately on 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include seizures.

Product Images


Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of piperacillin that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: ZOSYN®
Strength(s): 3.375 G
Imprint: Zosyn Powder for Injection

Name: ZOSYN®
Strength(s): 4.5 G
Imprint: Zosyn Powder for Injection

Name: ZOSYN®
Strength(s): 40.5 G
Imprint: Zosyn Powder for Injection

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