Aztreonam (By breathing)


Aztreonam (az-TREE-oh-nam)

Helps treat lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis that are caused by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to aztreonam.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. You should space the doses at least 4 hours apart.
  • Your doctor may give you or your child medicines to use before the aztreonam inhalation liquid. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to use your medicines. Aztreonam inhalation will work better if you use all of your medicines in the right order.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine comes as a powder that needs to be mixed with a liquid before it is given.
  • Slowly swirl the vial (glass container) until the powder has completely dissolved. If the liquid in the vial is cloudy or has specks in it, throw it away and mix a new dose.
  • You will use this medicine with an inhaler device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth and to your lungs. Your caregiver will show you how to use your nebulizer. This medicine should only be used with the Altera® Nebulizer System.
  • Place the mixed liquid in the medicine reservoir or nebulizer cup right away.
  • Do not mix other medicines with the liquid in the nebulizer.
  • Use the mouthpiece of the nebulizer to breathe in the medicine.
  • Use the nebulizer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the liquid in the nebulizer cup is gone.
  • Clean the nebulizer after each use and throw out the empty vial, rubber stopper, and saline container.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • It is best to store the unopened vials and saline containers in the original carton in the refrigerator. You may also store the unopened vials at room temperature, away from heat and direct light, for up to 28 days. Do not store the liquid mixture after the powder is dissolved.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a history of an allergic reaction to any other antibiotics, such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefixime, or penicillin.
  • When you breathe in this medicine, you may cough or have trouble breathing. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have a cough, shortness of breath, trouble with breathing, or tightness in the chest after using this medicine.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child develop a skin rash, hives, swelling of the face, tightness of the throat, or any allergic reaction to the medicine.
  • If any of your medicines do not seem to be working as well as usual, call your doctor right away. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness or discomfort.
  • Difficulty with breathing or troubled breathing.
  • Fever.
  • Increased coughing or wheezing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Skin rash.
  • Stomach pain or vomiting.
  • Stuffy or runny nose, or sore throat.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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