Polymyxin b sulfate

Pronunciation

Generic Name: polymyxin b sulfate (POL-ee-MIX-in)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Serious side effects can occur with the use of polymyxin b sulfate. Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney problems. Your kidney function will be monitored while you are using polymyxin b sulfate. Tell your doctor if you experience irritability, weakness, drowsiness, numbness in the arms or legs, or blurred vision. The safety of polymyxin b sulfate during pregnancy has not been confirmed. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before using polymyxin b sulfate.


Polymyxin b sulfate is used for:

Treating serious infections caused by certain bacteria.

Polymyxin b sulfate is a polypeptide antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use polymyxin b sulfate if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in polymyxin b sulfate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using polymyxin b sulfate:

Some medical conditions may interact with polymyxin b sulfate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems or a neuromuscular disease (eg, myasthenia gravis)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with polymyxin b sulfate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics (eg, gentamicin), nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, vecuronium), or medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, ether, succinylcholine, gallamine, sodium citrate, bacitracin, streptomycin, neomycin, kanamycin, tobramycin, amikacin, cephaloridine, paromomycin, viomycin, colistin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by polymyxin b sulfate

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if polymyxin b sulfate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use polymyxin b sulfate:

Use polymyxin b sulfate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Polymyxin b sulfate may be given in various ways, depending on your condition, including topically as an irrigation solution.
  • Do not use polymyxin b sulfate if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use polymyxin b sulfate for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of polymyxin b sulfate, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use polymyxin b sulfate.

Important safety information:

  • Polymyxin b sulfate may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use polymyxin b sulfate with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Polymyxin b sulfate only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use polymyxin b sulfate for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of polymyxin b sulfate may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Lab tests, including kidney function, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if polymyxin b sulfate can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using polymyxin b sulfate while you are pregnant. It is not known if polymyxin b sulfate is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use polymyxin b sulfate, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of polymyxin b sulfate:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Fever; pain at the injection site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); change in the amount of urine; change in hearing or ringing in the ears; dizziness; drowsiness; flushing of the face; loss of coordination; mental or mood change (eg, irritability); severe headache; stiff neck; swelling and redness at the injection site; tingling or numbness in the mouth, hands, or feet; unusual weakness; unusually fast heartbeat; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include bloody or pink-colored urine; change in amount of urine; muscle spasms; seizures; tingling or numbness of the hands or feet.

Proper storage of polymyxin b sulfate:

Polymyxin b sulfate is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using polymyxin b sulfate at home, store polymyxin b sulfate as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep polymyxin b sulfate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about polymyxin b sulfate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Polymyxin b sulfate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take polymyxin b sulfate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about polymyxin b sulfate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to polymyxin b sulfate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using polymyxin b sulfate.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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