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Generic Name: aztreonam (injection) (AZ tree oh nam)
Brand Name: Azactam

What is aztreonam?

Aztreonam is an antibiotic that fights severe or life-threatening infection caused by bacteria.

Aztreonam is used to treat severe infections of the blood, urinary tract, lower respiratory tract, skin, stomach, or female reproductive organs.

Aztreonam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about aztreonam?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

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What should I discuss with my health care provider before using aztreonam?

You should not use aztreonam if you are allergic to it.

To make sure aztreonam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • a history of any type of allergy.

Especially tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other drugs, including:

  • similar antibiotics such as ertapenem (Invanz), imipenem (Primaxin), or meropenem (Merrem);

  • cephalosporins such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), and others; or

  • a penicillin antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), ticarcillin (Ticar, Timentin), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen).

This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Aztreonam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Aztreonam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 9 months old.

How should I use aztreonam?

Aztreonam is injected into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. Aztreonam is usually given in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine may need to be given for several weeks, depending on how severe your infection is.

You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Aztreonam is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine. Use only the diluent that your doctor or pharmacist tells you to use.

After mixing the powder and diluent, shake the medicine well. The mixture should appear as a clear to yellow or pink liquid. Do not use aztreonam if it has a different color or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

You may store the mixture for up to 48 hours at room temperature, or up to 7 days in a refrigerator.

Aztreonam is sometimes mixed with other antibiotics in the same solution. You may need to store this type of mixture differently than you would store aztreonam only. Follow all storage directions carefully.

Aztreonam is usually given as long as needed until your infection has cleared or you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Aztreonam will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

Store unmixed aztreonam at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Aztreonam that is supplied as a frozen solution in a plastic container should be stored in a freezer. If possible, keep the freezer set at 4 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit or colder.

Thaw the medicine either in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not heat the medicine to thaw it more quickly.

Aztreonam that is thawed in the refrigerator should be used within 2 weeks. If you have thawed the medicine at room temperature, you must use it within 48 hours.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using aztreonam?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Aztreonam side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • ringing in your ears;

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild diarrhea;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • mild skin rash;

  • vaginal itching or discharge; or

  • pain, swelling, or irritation where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect aztreonam?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially other injected antibiotics such as:

  • amikacin (Amikin);

  • gentamicin (Garamycin);

  • neomycin (Neo-Fradin, Neo-Tab);

  • streptomycin; or

  • tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with aztreonam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about aztreonam.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 2015-08-04, 7:59:00 AM.