Pentamidine given by inhalation is used to prevent a serious lung infection (Pneumocystis pneumonia-PCP) in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Pentamidine belongs to a class of drugs known as antiprotozoals. It works by killing the organism that causes the infection.
This medication is given by a health care professional as directed by your doctor, usually once every 4 weeks. It is given using a special machine called a nebulizer that changes the solution to a fine mist that you inhale. Each treatment usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. You may also be given another inhaled medication (such as albuterol) to help open your airways before each treatment with pentamidine. Learn and follow all instructions for the use of this medication and the nebulizer. If you have any questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to schedule the next dose.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of infection such as breathing problems, cough, or fever between treatments.
Cough, upset stomach, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, burning feeling in the throat, or unusual taste/dryness in the mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor or respiratory therapist right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: chest tightness, breathing problems.
Though very unlikely, inhaled pentamidine might be absorbed into your body. Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: abdominal pain, easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), unusual decrease in the amount of urine, signs of anemia (such as severe tiredness, bluish skin/nails), signs of low blood pressure (such as severe dizziness, pale skin, fainting), signs of low blood sugar (such as sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger), signs of high blood sugar (such as unusual increase in thirst or urination), signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor, respiratory therapist, or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding/blood disorders, breathing problems (such as asthma), diabetes, kidney disease, liver problems, smoking.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that may affect the kidneys (including aminoglycosides such as tobramycin, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Store at room temperature away from light. Use/discard the mixed solution within 48 hours. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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