pentamidine (generic name)

It is used to treat 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 treat 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:
  • diabetes
  • heart problems
  • kidney disease
  • pancreatitis
  • 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 for injection into a muscle or infusion into a vein. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 months old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

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?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

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
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • fever, chills
  • low blood pressure
  • pain at site where injected
  • 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
  • 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
  • headache
  • metal taste
  • muscle pain
  • nausea

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 16, 2009
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