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Systematic (IUPAC) name
azabicyclo[3.2.0]heptane-2-carboxylic acid
CAS number 34787-01-4
ATC code J01CA13 J01CR03
PubChem 36921
Chemical data
Formula C15H16N2O6S2 
Mol. mass 384.429 g/mol
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Protein binding 45%
Metabolism  ?
Half life 1.1 hours
Excretion Renal
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.

B2(AU) B(US)

Legal status

Prescription only

Routes Intravenous

Ticarcillin is a carboxypenicillin. It is almost invariably sold and used in combination with clavulanate as Timentin®. Because it is a penicillin, it also falls within the larger class of beta-lactam antibiotics. Its main clinical use is as an injectable antibiotic for the treatment of gram negative bacteria, in particular, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Chemically, ticarcillin is C15H16N2O6S2 (CAS number 34787-01-4). It is provided as a white or pale yellow powder. It is highly soluble in water, but should only be dissolved immediately before use to prevent degradation.


Mechanism of action

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

Ticarcillin is similar to penicilin in that it contains a β-lactam ring. This can lead to resistance in bacteria containing β-lactamase, which cleaves the ring and inactivates it. It is often paired with a β-lactamase inhibitor such as clavulanic acid. Because of ticarcillins similarties to penicillin, including the β-lactam ring, it can cause similar allergic reactions in patients sensitive to penicillin.

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 media. It is also used in plant molecular biology to kill agrobacterium, which is used to deliver genes to plant cells.

Dosing and posology

Ticarcillin is not absorbed orally, and therefore must be given by intravenous or intramuscular injection. The usual adult dose of Timentin is 3.5g four times a day.

Trade names and preparations

  • Ticarcillin: Ticar® (Formerly marketed by Beecham, then SmithKline Beecham until 1999, when it merged with Glaxo to form GlaxoSmithKline; no longer available in the UK. US distribution ceased in 2004. Ticar was replaced by Timentin.)

  • Ticarcillin/clavulanate: Timentin® (UK and US, marketed by Beecham, then GlaxoSmithKline).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ticarcillin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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