Zosyn

(piperacillin-tazobactam)

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Treats bacterial infections.

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Our bottom line

Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) is only available as an injectable, so it's usually only given in the hospital. You can take Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) at home, but it has to be stored in the fridge and used every 6 hours.

Quick facts about piperacillin-tazobactam
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (piperacillin-tazobactam)

Upsides

  • Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) is available as a generic.
  • It is good at treating many types of serious bacterial infections.
  • Bacteria are less resistant to it than to other antibiotics.
  • Most people who take Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) have few side effects.
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What to expect from piperacillin-tazobactam, on one page

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Downsides

  • Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) is only available as an injectable.
  • You can use Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) at home, but you have to have a small tube placed into your skin and have the medicine injected every 6 hours, which can be hard to remember.
  • Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) can cause very bad side effects such as a serious blistering rash all over your body.
  • If you have kidney problems or are on a low or no sodium diet, you might not be able to use this medication.
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What to expect from piperacillin-tazobactam, on one page

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How it works

Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) is a combination of two medicines: piperacillin and tazobactam. Piperacillin is an antibiotic that kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering. Tazobactam helps piperacillin work against more infections by stopping breakdown of the antibiotic by bacteria.

Quick facts about piperacillin-tazobactam
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (piperacillin-tazobactam)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Injection
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Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) for Bacterial infection

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  • First few hoursHours
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  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
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  • Possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe diarrhea (C. difficile)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Serious skin rash
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Side effect rates for Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam)

  • Diarrhea
    11%11%
  • Constipation
    8%8%
  • Headache
    8%8%
  • Nausea
    7%7%
  • Trouble sleeping
    7%7%
  • Rash
    4%4%
  • Vomiting
    3%3%
  • Heartburn
    3%3%
  • Itchy skin
    3%3%
  • Fever
    2%2%
  • Fungal infection
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of piperacillin-tazobactam.

Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam)
Placebo

People taking piperacillin-tazobactam felt side effect more

People taking piperacillin-tazobactam felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Allergy to antibiotics

    Although rare, Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) can cause a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. Let your doctor know of any allergies to antibiotics. If you get a high fever, rash, itchy skin, hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face or mouth, or dramatic skin changes in your nose, mouth or genitals while taking Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam), talk to your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

Common concerns from people taking Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam)

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Kidneys and liver
  • Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam) can cause an imbalance of sodium and potassium in the body because it contains sodium. If you're on a low or no-sodium diet because of your kidneys, or if you're taking medicines that affect your potassium (blood pressure medications like Lasix or a water pill), your doctor might have to change them. Your doctor might do blood tests to check your body's sodium and potassium. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your diet and medicines before starting Zosyn (piperacillin-tazobactam).
  • If you have kidney problems or are on a low or no sodium diet, you might not be able to use this medication.