Zerbaxa (ceftolozane-tazobactam) is a potent intravenous antibiotic used for gram-negative intraabdominal and urinary tract infections resistant to more traditional antibiotics. It is active against P. aeruginosa, E. coli, and various other gram negative bugs like species of Proteus, Citrobacter, Serratia, and Salmonella.

As an intensivist, I’ve most commonly prescribed Zerbaxa for complicated cases of pyelonephritis and in combination with metronidazole for complex abdominal sepsis.

The cephalosporin portion of this medication (ceftolozane) inhibits assembly of the bacterial cell wall making it a bactericidal antibiotic. Tazobactam helps irreversibly inhibit enzymes (namely beta-lactamases) produced by certain bacteria that degrade common penicillins/cephalosporins thereby protecting ceftolozane.

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