Selected Antimicrobial Information – Equine

Imipenem [Equine]

Restriction Status



Species Usage Dose

For susceptible infections 25mg/kg IV q6h (extra-label use)
For regional limb perfusion 500 mg diluted to 100 mL with 0.9% sterile sodium chloride solution

Brand Name(s)



Imipenem is a primarily bactericidal, time-dependent carbapenem (╬▓-lactam) antibiotic with broad-spectrum efficacy against Gram-positive aerobes, Gram-negative aerobes, and anaerobes. Many Enterobacteriaceae that are resistant to other antimicrobials will be susceptible to meropenem; therefore, use should be strictly reserved for infections caused by organisms that are resistant to other antimicrobial choices. Carbapenem resistance is a growing problem in human medicine and is expected to become an issue in veterinary medicine with time. Imipenem is formulated with cilastatin, which slows the metabolism of imipenem. Distribution throughout the body is wide, and excretion is primarily in urine.

Acceptable Uses

  • Treatment of neonatal sepsis caused by organisms resistant to other antimicrobials.
  • When given as a CRI, treatment of synovial infections.
  • Regional limb perfusion when indicated by culture and susceptibility

Unacceptable Uses

  • Empirical treatment.

Formulations Available within the OSU Pharmacy

  • There are currently no formulations of imipenem available at the OSU pharmacy; available upon request


  • Imipenem use in animals is highly controversial and should only be considered as a last resort when all other antimicrobial treatment options have been ruled out.
  • Imipenem is on the protected antimicrobial list for the OSU-VMC, and approval must be obtained from the Antimicrobial Stewardship Working Group prior to prescribing for any purpose.****EXCEPTION: Use of this antibiotic does NOT need prior approval when used for regional limb perfusion at the above dose.


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OSU VMC Antimicrobial Use Guidelines Copyright © 2018 by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.