Question 3

Compare and contrast Ceftriaxone and Meropenem with respect to the following:
- Mechanism of action and spectrum (40% of marks)
- Pharmacokinetics (30% of marks)
- Effect of critical illness on pharmacokinetics and subsequent dosing.
(30% of marks)

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College Answer

Most candidates used a table to compare these two drugs, which was an ideal means to structure
their answers to this question and a useful way to present the information required. The use of a
structured format for learning pharmacokinetic data about all drugs allows more useful information
in a question such as this. Candidates should also give consideration to the effects of critical
illness (such as cardiac output, plasma binding and volume of distribution) affect the
pharmacokinetics of drugs used in intensive care. This particular section of the question was poorly
Syllabus: M2a,2d
References: Goodman and Gillman, The Pharmacological basis of therapeutics Chp 46