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Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.com Monograph
MedlinePlus a685037
  • AU:B2
Routes of
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding 45%
Elimination half-life 1.1 hours
Excretion Renal
  • (2S,5R,6R)-6-{[(2R)-2-carboxy-2-(3-thienyl)acetyl]amino}-3,3-dimethyl-7-oxo-4-thia-1-azabicyclo[3.2.0]heptane-2-carboxylic acid
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard 100.047.451 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Chemical and physical data
Formula C15H16N2O6S2
Molar mass 384.42 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • O=C(O)[C@@H]2N3C(=O)[C@@H](NC(=O)[C@@H](c1ccsc1)C(=O)O)[C@H]3SC2(C)C
  • InChI=1S/C15H16N2O6S2/c1-15(2)9(14(22)23)17-11(19)8(12(17)25-15)16-10(18)7(13(20)21)6-3-4-24-5-6/h3-5,7-9,12H,1-2H3,(H,16,18)(H,20,21)(H,22,23)/t7-,8-,9+,12-/m1/s1 Yes check.svgY

Ticarcillin is a carboxypenicillin. It can be sold and used in combination with clavulanate as ticarcillin/clavulanic acid. Because it is a penicillin, it also falls within the larger class of β-lactam antibiotics. Its main clinical use is as an injectable antibiotic for the treatment of Gram-negative bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus vulgaris. It is also one of the few antibiotics capable of treating Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infections.


It is provided as a white or pale-yellow powder. It is highly soluble in water, but should be dissolved only immediately before use to prevent degradation.

It was patented in 1963. [1]

Mechanism of action

Ticarcillin's antibiotic properties arise from its ability to prevent cross-linking of peptidoglycan during cell wall synthesis, when the bacteria try to divide, causing cell death.[ citation needed ]

Ticarcillin, like penicillin, contains a β-lactam ring that can be cleaved by β-lactamases, resulting in inactivation of the antibiotic. Those bacteria that can express β-lactamases are, therefore, resistant to β-lactam antibiotics. Due at least in part to the common β-lactam ring, ticarcillin can cause reactions in patients allergic to penicillin. Ticarcillin is also often paired with a β-lactamase inhibitor such as clavulanic acid (co-ticarclav).[ citation needed ]

Other uses

In molecular biology, ticarcillin is used to as an alternative to ampicillin to test the uptake of marker genes into bacteria. It prevents the appearance of satellite colonies that occur when ampicillin breaks down in the medium. It is also used in plant molecular biology to kill Agrobacterium , which is used to deliver genes to plant cells.

Dosing and administration

Ticarcillin is not absorbed orally, so must be given by intravenous or intramuscular injection.

Trade names and preparations

However Timentin contains clavulanate unlike Ticar


Carbenicillin is used in the clinic primarily because of its low toxicity and its utility in treating urinary tract infections due to susceptible Pseudomonas species. Its low potency, low oral activity, and susceptibility to bacterial beta-lactamases make it vulnerable to replacement by agents without these deficits. One contender in this race is ticaricillin. Its origin depended on the well-known fact that a divalent sulfur is roughly equivalent to a vinyl group (cf methiopropamine, sufentanil, pizotyline etc.).

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BE 646991  (1964 to Beecham). Ticarcillin synthesis.svg
Ticarcillin synthesis: GEORGE BRAIN EDWARD, CHARLES NAYLER JOHN HERBERT; BE 646991   (1964 to Beecham).

One synthesis began by making the monobenzyl ester of 3-Thienylmalonic acid, converting this to the acid chloride with SOCl2, and condensing it with 6-Aminopenicillanic acid (6-APA). Hydrogenolysis (Pd/C) completed the synthesis of ticarcillin.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amoxicillin</span> Beta-lactam antibiotic

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beta-lactamase</span> Class of enzymes

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penicillin</span> Group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beta-lactam antibiotics</span> Class of broad-spectrum antibiotics

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Flucloxacillin, also known as floxacillin, is an antibiotic used to treat skin infections, external ear infections, infections of leg ulcers, diabetic foot infections, and infection of bone. It may be used together with other medications to treat pneumonia, and endocarditis. It may also be used prior to surgery to prevent Staphylococcus infections. It is not effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is taken by mouth or given by injection into a vein or muscle.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beecham Group</span> Former British pharmaceutical company (1859–1989)

The Beecham Group plc was a British pharmaceutical company. It was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Beecham, after having merged with American pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beckman to become SmithKline Beecham, merged with Glaxo Wellcome to become GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK still uses the Beechams brand name in the UK for its over-the-counter cold and flu relief products.

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β-Lactamase inhibitor Family of enzymes

Beta-lactamases are a family of enzymes involved in bacterial resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. In bacterial resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, the bacteria have beta-lactamase which degrade the beta-lactam rings, rendering the antibiotic ineffective. However, with beta-lactamase inhibitors, these enzymes on the bacteria are inhibited, thus allowing the antibiotic to take effect. Strategies for combating this form of resistance have included the development of new beta-lactam antibiotics that are more resistant to cleavage and the development of the class of enzyme inhibitors called beta-lactamase inhibitors. Although β-lactamase inhibitors have little antibiotic activity of their own, they prevent bacterial degradation of beta-lactam antibiotics and thus extend the range of bacteria the drugs are effective against.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clavam</span> Class of antibiotics

Clavams are a class of antibiotics. This antibiotic is derived from Streptomyces clavuligerus NRRL 3585. Clavam is produced to form a new β-lactam antibiotic. This class is divided into the clavulanic acid class and the 5S clavams class. Clavulanic acid is a broad-spectrum antibiotic and 5S clavams may have anti-fungal properties. They are similar to penams, but with an oxygen substituted for the sulfur. Thus, they are also known as oxapenams.

Ticarcillin/clavulanic acid, or co-ticarclav, is a combination antibiotic consisting of ticarcillin, a β-lactam antibiotic, and clavulanic acid, a β-lactamase inhibitor. This combination results in an antibiotic with an increased spectrum of action and restored efficacy against ticarcillin-resistant bacteria that produce certain β-lactamases.


  1. Fischer J, Ganellin CR (2006). Analogue-based Drug Discovery. John Wiley & Sons. p. 491. ISBN   9783527607495.