Generic Name: Polymyxin B (pol i MIKS in bee)
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
- This medicine has not been fully studied in pregnant women. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause kidney problems. Have your blood work checked as you were told by your doctor. Call your doctor right away if you are unable to pass urine or if you have a change in how much urine is passed.
- This medicine may cause nerve problems. Signs of these nerve problems may be irritation, weakness, feeling sleepy, change in balance, numbness or tingling around the mouth or in the arms or legs, blurred eyesight, or trouble breathing. Most of the time, these nerve problems happen in people with kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems or if you have any of these signs.
- Do not use polymyxin B if you are taking any drugs that can cause kidney or nerve problems like amikacin, bacitracin, cephaloridine, colistin, gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin, paromomycin, streptomycin, tobramycin, or viomycin. There are many other drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Uses of Polymyxin B:
- It is used to treat bacterial infections.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Polymyxin B?
- If you have an allergy to polymyxin B or any other part of polymyxin B.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take polymyxin B with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Polymyxin B?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take polymyxin B. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using polymyxin B while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Polymyxin B) best taken?
Use polymyxin B as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into a muscle or as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- This medicine may be given as a shot into the spinal fluid.
- It is given as a shot into the eye.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
All injection products:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- It is common to have diarrhea when taking polymyxin B. Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking polymyxin B or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
Injection (if given into the spine):
- Stiff neck.
What are some other side effects of Polymyxin B?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Polymyxin B?
- If you need to store polymyxin B at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about polymyxin B, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: miscellaneous antibiotics