Pentamidine (Inhalation)

Pentamidine is an inhaled medication that seeks to prevent the occurrence of pneumonia in patients with lowered immune systems.

Overview

Pentamidine is used to try and prevent the occurrence of a very serious form of pneumonia called pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). The medication is inhaled by the patient.

PCP commonly occurs in patients who have a lowered immune system. This can be caused by conditions such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Pentamidine is only effective on the lungs and will have no preventative effect on other parts of the body. This treatment may also be used in the treatment of other conditions of the lungs.

Pentamidine is only available when prescribed by a doctor and is administered as Nebupent powder for solution.

Condition treated

  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), prevention of

Type Of Medicine

  • Antimicrobial medication

Side Effects

Pneumocystis has been known to occur in parts of the body outside of the lungs during the use of Pentamidine. You should discuss this risk with your doctor before beginning use. Pentamidine will not be effective in treatment of pneumocystis in area outside of the lungs.

In addition to the required effects of Pentamidine, other unwanted side effects can also occur from use. Some of these may require that the patient seeks urgent medical attention.

You should inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

Occurring commonly:

  • Burning pain or dryness in throat
  • Chest pains
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing

Occurring only rarely:

  • Anxiousness
  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Decrease in volume of urination
  • Headaches
  • Increased hunger
  • Lost appetite
  • Nausea
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Pain in the back
  • Pain in upper abdomen
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Severe pain in the side of the chest
  • Shakiness
  • Shortness of breath occurring suddenly without reason
  • Stomach pain
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unusual weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting

Other side effects that have not been listed herein could also occur from the use of this treatment. If you experience other side effects then you should inform your doctor and seek advice.

Dosage

The use of Pentamidine should be regular, even when the patient is feeling well. Only through regular use will the patient be able to prevent the recurrence of this severe form of pneumonia.

The dose prescribed will differ for each patient and you should take the medication only as directed by your doctor. Ensure that you have read all of the provided information about the treatment and ask your doctor if you have any questions before use. The following information is to be used as a guideline only and should not be used to make changes or adjustments to your dose.

When treating pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) with inhalation dosing:

  • Adults and children aged 5+ Oral inhalation should be used once every 4 weeks to take a dose of 300mg of Pentamidine.
  • Children below the age of 5 should use only a dose prescribed to them by a doctor.

If a dose is missed then you should take it as soon as possible. If you miss a dose by several weeks then you should contact your doctor for advice. Remember that regular dosing is essential in the use of Pentamidine for the prevention of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

Interactions

Pentamidine can interact with a range of other medications that you may be taking. You should inform your doctor of all treatments that you are taking before beginning use of this medication. Medication interactions can be very serious and can cause severe unwanted side effects to occur in patients. Some drugs may also prevent others from working. It is especially important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following.

The use of the following medications is not recommended when you are also using Pentamidine. If you are taking any of the following then your doctor may need to change on or other of the medications:

  • Ziprasidone
  • Thioridazine
  • Terfenadine
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Saquinavir
  • Piperaquine
  • Pimozide
  • Mesoridazine
  • Levomethadyl
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Dronedarone
  • Cisapride
  • Bepridil
  • Amisulpride
  • Amifampridine

Pentamidine is not normally recommended for use in conjunction with the following. In some cases this may still be the best treatment for you, however, and your doctor may prescribe both with adjustments made to the dose or to the frequency of use:

  • Zuclopenthixol
  • Zotepine
  • Zolmitriptan
  • Vinflunine
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vasopressin
  • Vandetanib
  • Triptorelin
  • Trimipramine
  • Trimethoprim
  • Trimeprazine
  • Triflupromazine
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Tizanidine
  • Thiethylperazine
  • Telithromycin
  • Tedisamil
  • Tacrolimus
  • Sultopride
  • Sulpiride
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Spiramycin
  • Sotalol
  • Sevoflurane
  • Sertindole
  • Sematilide
  • Risperidone
  • Quinidine
  • Quetiapine
  • Protriptyline
  • Propiomazine
  • Propafenone
  • Promethazine
  • Promazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Procainamide
  • Probucol
  • Prajmaline
  • Pitolisant
  • Pirmenol
  • Pipotiazine
  • Pimavanserin
  • Perphenazine
  • Pazopanib
  • Pasireotide
  • Panobinostat
  • Ondansetron
  • Octreotide
  • Nortriptyline
  • Nilotinib
  • Nafarelin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Metronidazole
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Methadone
  • Mefloquine
  • Lumefantrine
  • Lorcainide
  • Lidoflazine
  • Levofloxacin
  • Leuprolide
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ivabradine
  • Isradipine
  • Isoflurane
  • Imipramine
  • Ibutilide
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Hydroquinidine
  • Histrelin
  • Halothane
  • Haloperidol
  • Halofantrine
  • Goserelin
  • Gonadorelin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Fluphenazine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluconazole
  • Flecainide
  • Fingolimod
  • Ethopropazine
  • Escitalopram
  • Erythromycin
  • Enflurane
  • Encainide
  • Efavirenz
  • Droperidol
  • Doxepin
  • Donepezil
  • Domperidone
  • Dolasetron
  • Dofetilide
  • Disopyramide
  • Dibenzepin
  • Deslorelin
  • Desipramine
  • Delamanid
  • Degarelix
  • Dabrafenib
  • Crizotinib
  • Clozapine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Citalopram
  • Cidofovir
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Chloroquine
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Buserelin
  • Bretylium
  • Azithromycin
  • Azimilide
  • Astemizole
  • Artemether
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Aripiprazole
  • Aprindine
  • Anagrelide
  • Amoxapine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amiodarone
  • Ajmaline
  • Acetophenazine
  • Acecainide

Other interactions may also occur that have not been listed herein. You should inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking before beginning use. This includes all prescribed treatments, over the counter medications and even herbal remedies and vitamin supplements.

Certain medical conditions can also limit the use of this treatment. Patients with asthma may suffer from increased coughing or difficulty with breathing when this medication is administered. Caution should be used in these patients.

Other breathing conditions may also impact the use of this treatment. Patients should ensure that the doctor is fully aware of their medical history before beginning use of this treatment.

Warnings

Before beginning use of Pentamidine patients should consider the good that use will do in relation to the potential risks of use. The decision to take this medication should be made with you and your doctor having ensured that you have considered all of the following:

Allergies' You must inform your doctor of any allergies from which you suffer. This is particularly important if you have ever suffered any allergies to medications in the past. This could prohibit the use of this treatment in such cases.

Pediatric' While studies have only been carried out in adults, there are not expected to be any limitations to use in children. Pentamidine is recommended for use in children aged 5+ who have shown an intolerance to other medications and no specific limitations have been demonstrated so far.

Geriatric' There have been no specific tests carried out on the elderly populations for this treatment. It is therefore unknown if there are any specific limitations to use but no specific limitations are known. Use with caution in elderly patients.

Pregnancy' You should inform your doctor if you are pregnant before you begin use of this treatment. There is a known risk to the use of this treatment when pregnant and there is also a risk to pregnancy when you are exposed to a lowered immune system. If you believe you have become pregnant during the use of this treatment then you should inform your doctor.

Breastfeeding' There is no specific information relating to breastfeeding during the use of this treatment. Patients should discuss this with their doctor and should weigh the potential risks against the benefits of continuing breastfeeding.

Patients who are using a bronchodilator should use this first before taking Pentamidine. Patients should then wait for at least 5-10 minutes before using Pentamidine unless otherwise instructed by the doctor. This will help to limit the side effects from use.

No not ever use any other medication in the nebulizer. Doing so may put you at serious risk.

Patients may experience a bitter taste or a metallic taste during the use of this treatment. This side effect will abate quickly and you can alleviate it by sucking on a hard sweet, however.

Smoking tobacco products can greatly increase the risk of coughing and breathing difficulties when using Pentamidine. You should try to stop smoking and should limit tobacco use before taking this treatment. Smokers should stop smoking for at least 6 hours before taking Pentamidine and should wait for at least 3 hours before smoking again after use. Ask your doctor for advice on how to stop smoking.

Storage

Store your medication in a cool dry place out of contact with direct light, heat and moisture.

This medication must be kept out of the reach of children at all times, even when the medication is intended for their use.

Summary

Pentamidine is a treatment used in the prevention of a severe form of pneumonia. pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, which is also known as PCP, is common in patients who have a lowered immune system. Amongst other causes a common cause for this form of pneumonia is infection with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Pentamidine is used once every 4 weeks unless otherwise instructed by a doctor and helps to prevent the recurrence of this condition. Taking the treatment regularly will give you the best protection and stopping smoking will also help to improve the condition of your lungs.

Pentamidine is inhaled through a nebulizer and may cause some unwanted side effects to occur. These can include difficulty with breathing and coughing shortly after use and may also include serious side effects that will require you to seek medical attention.

Pentamidine can interact with a wide range of other medications that you may be taking. You should discuss all medications you are using and your full medical history with your doctor before beginning use.