pentamidine (generic name)

It is used to prevent Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)
(pen TAM i deen)
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What is this medicine?

PENTAMIDINE (pen TAM i deen) is an anti-infective drug. It is used to prevent Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • heart problems
  • kidney disease
  • smoker
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pentamidine, other medicines, foods, dyed, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is used in a nebulizer. Nebulizers make a liquid into an aerosol that you breathe in through your mouth or your mouth and nose into your lungs. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not use more often than directed. Do not stop using except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • amoxapine
  • arsenic trioxide
  • certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, grepafloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin
  • cidofovir
  • cisapride
  • droperidol
  • haloperidol
  • levomethadyl
  • maprotiline
  • medicines for malaria like chloroquine and halofantrine
  • medicines to control heart rhythm
  • methadone
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, imipramine, nortriptyline, and others
  • zalcitabine, ddC
  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • abarelix
  • alfuzosin
  • certain antibiotics like gentamicin, levofloxacin, mefloquine, tobramycin, vancomycin
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • diuretics
  • ganciclovir
  • foscarnet
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for diabetes
  • medicines for nausea like dolasetron, ondansetron, palonosetron
  • medicines for sleep during surgery
  • medicine to numb skin
  • octreotide
  • some bowel prep medicines
  • some medicines for cancer
  • tacrolimus
  • vardenafil

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

See your doctor for regular check ups. Tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, fever, or infection. You will need to have important blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

Do not mix this medicine with any other medicines in the nebulizer. Do not use the nebulizer for this medicine to inhale any other medicine.

This medicine can change your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause more thirst and more urine passed, loss of appetite, fruity breath odor, and drowsiness. Low blood sugar can cause hunger, pale skin, headache, anxiety, chills or cold sweats, and shakiness. Call your doctor or health care professional if you think you have a problem with your blood sugar level.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain
  • cough
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • fever, chills
  • low blood pressure
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • stomach pain, vomiting
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • white patches, sores in the mouth
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • metal taste
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • night sweats

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Last Updated: July 16, 2009
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