REVIEW Sulbactam free acid is a beta-lactamase inhibitor with very weak antibacterial action. This drug is given in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics to prevent destruction of the beta-lactam antibiotics by inhibiting beta-lactamases, thus extending their spectrum activity. Combinations of sulbactam with beta-lactam antibiotics have been used successfully for the therapy of infections caused by organisms resistant to the antibiotic alone. Sulbactam is an irreversible inhibitor of beta-lactamase; it binds to the enzyme and does not allow it to degrade the antibiotic. The actual drug given to patients is the sodium salt of sulbactam.
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