NZ Formulary



What does it do?

Ertapenem is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It may also be used before a prostate biopsy to prevent serious infections.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How is it given?

Ertapenem is given as an infusion into a vein, or as an injection into a muscle. It is usually given to you by a health professional.

What if you forget a dose?

Contact your health professional as soon as possible. Usually, the missed dose is given as soon as possible, and treatment continued as directed. 

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Severe or persistent diarrhoea, abdominal pain

Skin rash

Tell your doctor

Stomach upset


Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.