Ticarcillin/Clavulanate

Ticarcillin and Clavulanate is a prescription used for the treatment of certain bacterial infections such as:

  • Bacterial infections of the lower respiratory tract,
  • Bones or joints, 
  • Inside the abdomen,
  • Skin and soft tissue,
  • Kidney, 
  • Or after surgery 

Bacterial infections are common and their effects vary. Several different bacteria can cause illness. Bacteria are small organisms that can invade the body that causes illness. These infections usually trigger a protective immune response. Children and adults of any age can develop a bacterial infection. It can infect any area of the body. A bacterial infection can spread throughout the blood as well. Bacterial infections are caused by the transmission of bacteria. You can be exposed to bacteria from other people, through the environment, or from eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Some general symptoms of a bacterial infection include:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Feeling tired or fatigued
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea 

Bacteria are relatively complex, single-celled creatures, many with a rigid wall, and a thin, rubbery membrane surrounding the fluid inside the cell. They can reproduce on their own. Most bacteria are harmless and some help by digesting food, fighting cancer cells, destroying disease-causing microbes, and providing essential nutrients. Bacterial infections can be highly contagious and so you need to take special care to avoid spreading infections by washing hands, covering up when coughing and sneezing or not sharing cups and drink bottles.

Ticarcillin is a penicillin-type antibiotic and Clavulanate is a medicine that prevents bacteria from inactivating the Ticarcillin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. 

How does Ticarcillin/Clavulanate work?

Ticarcillin works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to form cell walls. The cell walls of bacteria are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering their cells and stop the contents of their cells from leaking out. Ticarcillin impairs the bonds that hold the bacterial cell wall together. This allows holes to appear in the cell walls and kills the bacteria.

Clavulanate inhibits the action of the beta-lactamases produced by certain bacteria. It prevents these bacteria from inactivating the Ticarcillin and leaves the bacteria susceptible to attack. Clavulanate, therefore, increases the range of bacteria that Ticarcillin can kill.

Certain bacteria are resistant to penicillin-type antibiotics. It is because they have developed the ability to produce defensive chemicals called beta-lactamases. These interfere with the structure of penicillin-type antibiotics and stop them from working.

How to use Ticarcillin/Clavulanate?

This medication is injected into a vein through an IV. Do not self-inject this if you don’t understand how to give the injection properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject this medication. Use a disposable needle only once then throw it away in a puncture-proof container. 

This is usually given for 10 to 14 days depending on the infection being treated. Ticarcillin/Clavulanate should be mixed with a liquid before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

Shake the mixture well to dissolve the medicine completely. The mixture should appear light to dark yellow. Do not use the mixture if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Do not mix this drug with other injectable antibiotics in the same IV bag.

After mixing your medicine, you will need to use it within a certain number of hours or days. This will depend on the diluent and how you store the mixture. Carefully follow the mixing and storage instructions provided with your medicine. Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Ticarcillin and Clavulanate will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu. If your medicine was provided in a frozen form or was frozen after mixing, thaw it in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not warm in a microwave or boiling water. Use the medicine as soon as possible after thawing it. Do not refreeze.

What are the side effects of Ticarcillin/Clavulanate?

Common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Vomiting 
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Vaginal yeast infection (discharge or itching)
  • Injection site reactions (swelling, pain, or burning)

Tell your doctor right away if you these side effects:

  • Feeling an urgent need to urinate
  • Blood in your urine
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Pain or difficult urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Unusual weakness
  • Increased thirst
  • Confusion 
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Increased urination
  • Fast heart rate
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Flu symptoms (Sore throat, fever, and headache with a severe peeling, blistering, and red skin rash)

Warnings and Precautions

  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
  • The safety of this medicine in pregnancy has not been fully established, but it is not known to be harmful. It should be used with caution during pregnancy, and only if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh any possible risks to the developing baby.
  • This medicine passes into breast milk in small amounts, but at normal doses, it is unlikely to have harmful effects on a nursing infant. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
  • It is important to tell your doctor if you have any other medications incusing vitamins or herbal supplements. 
  • This is not recommended for use in people allergic to penicillin. Inform your doctor if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • This should be used with caution in people with decreased kidney function, severely decreased liver function, people on a low sodium diet, or low levels of potassium in their blood.