A Critical Evaluation of Newer β-Lactam Antibiotics for Treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infections

Kathleen C. Blomquist, David E. Nix

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: This article critically evaluates common Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistance mechanisms and the properties newer β-lactam antimicrobials possess to evade these mechanisms. Data Sources: An extensive PubMed, Google Scholar, and ClinicalTrials.gov search was conducted (January 1995 to July 2020) to identify relevant literature on epidemiology, resistance mechanisms, antipseudomonal agents, newer β-lactam agents, and clinical data available pertaining to P aeruginosa. Study Selection and Data Extraction: Relevant published articles and package inserts were reviewed for inclusion. Data Synthesis: Therapeutic options to treat P aeruginosa infections are limited because of its intrinsic and acquired resistance mechanisms. The goal was to identify advances with newer β-lactams and characterize improvements in therapeutic potential for P aeruginosa infections. Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: Multidrug-resistant (MDR) P aeruginosa isolates are increasingly encountered from a variety of infections. This review highlights potential activity gains of newer β-lactam antibacterial drugs and the current clinical data to support their use. Pharmacists will be asked to recommend or evaluate the use of these agents and need to be aware of information specific to P aeruginosa, which differs from experience derived from Enterobacterales infections. Conclusions: Newer agents, including ceftazidime-avibactam, ceftolozane-tazobactam, imipenem-relebactam, and cefiderocol, are useful for the treatment of MDR P aeruginosa infections. These agents offer improved efficacy and less toxicity compared with aminoglycosides and polymyxins and can be used for pathogens that are resistant to first-line antipseudomonal β-lactams. Selection of one agent over another should consider availability, turnaround of susceptibility testing, and product cost. Efficacy data specific for pseudomonal infections are limited, and there are no direct comparisons between the newer agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1024
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • avibactam
  • cefiderocol
  • ceftazidime
  • ceftolozane
  • drug combination
  • relebactam
  • vaborbactam
  • β-lactamases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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