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Drugs reference index «Zosyn»


Generic Name: piperacillin and tazobactam (Intravenous route)

pi-per-a-SIL-in SOE-dee-um, taz-oh-BAK-tam SOE-dee-um

Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Zosyn

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution
  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antibiotic

Pharmacologic Class: Piperacillin

Uses For Zosyn

Piperacillin and tazobactam combination is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body.

Piperacillin and tazobactam combination is an antibiotic that belongs to the group of medicines known as penicillins and beta-lactamase inhibitors. It works by killing the bacteria and preventing their growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using Zosyn

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of piperacillin and tazobactam combination in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in infants below 2 months of age.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of piperacillin and tazobactam combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or heart problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving piperacillin and tazobactam combination.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Methotrexate
  • Vecuronium

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bleeding problems or
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Diarrhea or
  • Heart disease or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Cystic fibrosis (genetic disorder)—Patients with this condition may have an increased chance of fever and skin rash.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of Zosyn

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Precautions While Using Zosyn

Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have itching; hives; hoarseness; shortness of breath; trouble with breathing; trouble with swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive this medicine.

Piperacillin and tazobactam combination may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Zosyn Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Diarrhea
Less common
  • Bladder pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • breakdown of the skin
  • burning upper abdominal or stomach pain
  • changes in skin color
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • enlarged abdomen or stomach
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • inflammation or swelling at the injection site
  • irritation and redness of the skin
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of bladder control
  • lower back or side pain
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • no blood pressure or pulse
  • noisy, rattling breathing pain
  • pain, tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg
  • pain, warmth, or burning in the fingers, toes, and legs
  • pounding in the ears
  • problems with vision or hearing
  • rapid weight gain
  • severe pain in the chest
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • stopping of heart
  • sudden onset of severe breathing difficulty
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • troubled breathing at rest
  • unconsciousness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • weight gain
  • wheezing
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps, pain, or tenderness
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • bleeding gums
  • bloody nose
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • blue lips and fingernails
  • bone pain
  • bruising
  • canker sores
  • chest congestion
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • convulsions
  • cool, pale skin
  • cough
  • coughing or spitting up blood
  • coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • decrease in the frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • deep or fast breathing with dizziness
  • depression
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • excessive muscle tone
  • extra heart beat
  • eye pain
  • fainting or loss of consciousness
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • general feeling of illness
  • high blood pressure
  • hives
  • hostility
  • inability to speak
  • increase in heart rate
  • increased clear or white vaginal discharge
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • irritability
  • itching
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • large, flat, blue, or purplish patches in the skin
  • lethargy
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • muscle stiffness or twitching
  • muscle tension or tightness
  • nightmares
  • no blood pressure or pulse
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red or purple spots on the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • severe constipation
  • severe or sudden headache
  • severe vomiting
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • slurred speech
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips, tongue, or inside the mouth
  • sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • sunken eyes
  • swelling of the face, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • swelling of the eyes, eyelids, or hands
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • temporary blindness
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
  • thirst
  • total body jerking
  • troubled breathing
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unconsciousness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual weight loss
  • weakness
  • weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
  • wrinkled skin
Incidence not known
  • Back or leg pain
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • clay-colored stools
  • dark urine
  • fever with or without chills
  • general body swelling
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • high fever
  • joint or muscle pain
  • nosebleeds
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • vomiting of blood
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • sleeplessness
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • breakdown of skin
  • cracks in the skin at the corners of mouth
  • heartburn
  • hiccup
  • indigestion
  • irritation and redness of the skin
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • soreness or redness around the fingernails and toenails
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • stuffy nose
  • white patches in the mouth or on the tongue
  • Body aches or pain
  • burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • change in color vision
  • change in taste or bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • congestion
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • difficulty with moving
  • double vision
  • dry skin
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling of warmth
  • feeling unusually cold
  • full feeling
  • hearing loss
  • heartburn
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
  • itching or pain of the genital area
  • lack or loss of strength
  • passing gas
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • seeing double
  • sensation of spinning
  • severe sleepiness
  • shivering
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • stomach upset
  • tenderness in stomach area
  • voice changes

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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  • Zosyn Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zosyn MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Zosyn Consumer Overview