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Mecillinam (INN) or amdinocillin (USAN), trade name Coactin, is an extended-spectrum penicillin antibiotic that binds specifically to penicillin binding protein 2 (PBP2), and is only considered to be active against Gram-negative bacteria. It is used primarily in the treatment of urinary tract infections, and has also been used to treat typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Because mecillinam has very low oral bioavailability, an orally-active prodrug was developed: pivmecillinam. Neither drug is available in the United States. Retrieved on August 31, 2008. Freely available with registration.


With the codename FL 1060, mecillinam was developed by the Danish pharmaceutical company Leo Pharmaceutical Products (now LEO Pharma). It was first described in the scientific literature in a 1972 paper.


Mecillinam is active against most pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, except Pseudomonas aeruginosa and some species of Proteus. Retrieved on August 31, 2008. Freely available with registration. Several studies have also found it to be as effective as other antibiotics for treating Staphylococcus saprophyticus infection, even though it is Gram-positive, possibly because mecillinam reaches very high concentrations in urine.

Worldwide resistance to mecillinam in bacteria causing urinary tract infection has remained very low since its introduction; a 2003 study conducted in 16 European countries and Canada found resistance to range between 1.2% (Escherichia coli) to 5.2% (Proteus mirabilis). Another large study conducted in Europe and Brazilmarker obtained similar results — 95.9% of E. coli strains, for instance, were sensitive to mecillinam.

Adverse effects

The adverse effect profile of mecillinam is similar to that of other penicillins. The most common side effects of mecillinam use are rash and gastrointestinal upset, including nausea and vomiting.


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