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Tobramycin (inhalation)

Generic Name: tobramycin (inhalation) (toe bra MY sin)
Brand Name: Bethkis, Kitabis Pak, Tobi

Medically reviewed on July 20, 2017

What is tobramycin?

Tobramycin is an aminoglycoside (ah-meen-oh-GLY-ko-side) antibiotic. Tobramycin fights infections that are caused by bacteria.

Tobramycin inhalation is inhaled into the lungs using a nebulizer. Tobramycin inhalation is used to treat lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Tobramycin inhalation is for use in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

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

Important Information

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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use tobramycin if you are allergic to tobramycin or similar antibiotics (amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin, paromomycin, streptomycin).

To make sure tobramycin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Do not use tobramycin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether tobramycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I use tobramycin?

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

Tobramycin is inhaled into the lungs with the use of a nebulizer or an inhaler device. Do not swallow the medicine by mouth.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Tobramycin is given in a treatment cycle of 28 days on the medicine followed by 28 days off the medicine. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with tobramycin.

During your 28 days on the medicine, use your doses at regular intervals of 12 hours apart but not less than 6 hours apart.

If you use other inhaled medicines, or if you perform chest physiotherapy to remove mucus from the lungs, use these other treatments first before using your tobramycin dose.

Do not use tobramycin inhalation solution if it looks cloudy or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Tobi Podhaler is a powder form of tobramycin that comes with a special inhaler device and blister packs containing capsules of the medicine. You will load one capsule into the inhaler device each time you use the medicine. Pushing the buttons on the end of the Podhaler device will pierce the capsule and release the medicine into the inhaler chamber. Use only the capsules provided with the Tobi Podhaler device.

Store tobramycin ampules in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 and 8 degrees Celsius).

If refrigeration is not available, store the ampules at cool room temperature for up to 28 days. Protect from light. The solution may become darker in color at room temperature, but this should not affect the quality of the medicine. Throw away any ampules not used before the expiration date on the label.

Store tobramycin capsules in their blister pack at room temperature away, from moisture and heat. Remove only one capsule at a time and only when you are ready to use it.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 6 hours away. 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 tobramycin?

Do not mix tobramycin solution with dornase alfa (Pulmozyme) in the nebulizer.

Tobramycin 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:

  • new or worsening breathing problems, such as wheezing, cough, chest tightness, or trouble breathing;

  • hearing problems, ringing in your ears;

  • muscle weakness; or

  • severe dizziness, spinning sensation, balance problems.

Common side effects may include:

  • cough, sore throat, hoarse voice;

  • noisy breathing;

  • worsening of lung problems or cystic fibrosis;

  • coughing up mucus or blood;

  • altered sense of taste;

  • fever;

  • headache; or

  • rash.

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 tobramycin?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • urea;

  • a diuretic or "water pill"--furosemide, Lasix, ethacrynic acid, and others; or

  • other medicine that may harm your kidneys, hearing, or nervous system--antibiotics, antiviral medicine, chemotherapy, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

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

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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