Infect Drug Resist 2009 30;2:41-9. Epub 2009 Jun 30.
Infectious Diseases Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Fargo, North Dakota, USA;
Doripenem is the latest carbapenem on the market to date. Although not an antibiotic in a new class, it offers a glimmer of hope in combating serious infections secondary to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria when we have not seen a new class of antibacterial, particularly for Gram-negative bacteria, for more than 10 years. In vitro, doripenem exhibits a broad spectrum of activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and Amp-C β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae and anaerobes. Doripenem also exhibits better in vitro activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared to other anti-pseudomonal carbapenems. It combines the desirable activities of both imipenem and meropenem. It has similar activity to imipenem against Gram-positive pathogens and has the antimicrobial spectrum of meropenem against Gram-negative organisms. Several randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that doripenem is non-inferior to meropenem, imipenem, piperacillin/tazobactam, or levofloxacin in its efficacy and safety profile in treating a wide range of serious bacterial infections including intra-abdominal infection, complicated urinary tract infection, and nosocomial pneumonia. Due to its wide spectrum of activity and good safety profile it is susceptible to misuse leading to increasing rates of resistance. Judicious use should be considered when using doripenem as a first-line agent or drug of choice for serious infections. Doripenem is a well-tolerated drug with common adverse effects including headache, nausea and diarrhea. Caution should be used in patients with hypersensitivity to carbapenems and adverse reactions to β-lactam agents. Dosage adjustment is needed for patients with renal impairment. Doripenem has demonstrated economic and clinical benefits. It has been shown to reduce hospital length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation for intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Therefore, doripenem is a welcome addition to our limited armamentarium of antibiotics available to treat serious bacterial infections in hospitalized patients.