Meropenem is a broad spectrum antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. There are no clear standards nationally for the use of meropenem. The purpose of this study is to audit the appropriateness of Meropenem prescription at West Hertfordshire NHS trust


Patients started on meropenem were identified via the hospital pharmacy in the period from 1st January 2019 to 31st March 2019. Patients’ clinical notes, drug charts and blood tests were reviewed. Appropriateness of meropenem prescription was judged based on the following: indication, penicillin allergy and its nature, pathogen antibiogram, microbiologists approval, indications for escalation and duration of treatment


forty-eight patients were identified during the study period. The main indications were hospital-acquired/community-acquired pneumonia and UTI. Penicillin allergy was documented in 31%, the nature of allergy was intolerance in 13% and not known in 20%. Of note, in 42% of these, treatment was not pathogen guided. In 45.5% of non-penicillin allergic patients, escalation to meropenem were neither supported by antibiogram nor by microbiologists. The main driver was raised inflammatory markers (62.5%). Of the 37 patients who completed their treatment during the study period, 21.6% had > 7 days with only 50% recommended by Microbiologists.


In third of the patients, meropenem use was driven by penicillin allergy, however the nature of allergy did not justify its use in many of these cases. Lack of microbiology approval, failure to de-escalate and long courses of meropenem were additional areas identified to target in our antimicrobial stewardship programme

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