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Aztreonam Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of aztreonam include: fever. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to aztreonam: inhalation powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by aztreonam. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking aztreonam:

More common:
  • Chest discomfort
  • cough
  • difficulty with breathing or troubled breathing
  • fever
Less common:
  • Noisy breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with aztreonam may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose
  • vomiting
Less common:
  • Rash

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to aztreonam: inhalation powder for reconstitution, injectable powder for injection, intravenous solution


Aztreonam for injection was generally well tolerated. The overall incidence of systemic side effects was about 1% to 1.3%.[Ref]


Aztreonam for inhalation:
Very common (10% or more): Cough (54%), nasal congestion (16%), wheezing (16%)
Common (1% to 10%): Bronchospasm (3%)
Postmarketing reports: Dyspnea

Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Wheezing, dyspnea, chest pain, sneezing, nasal congestion[Ref]


Aztreonam for inhalation:
Very common (10% or more): Pyrexia (13%), pharyngolaryngeal pain (12%)
Common (1% to 10%): Chest discomfort (8%), abdominal pain (7%)

Aztreonam for injection:
Common (1% to 10%): Superinfection (up to 10%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Weakness, fever, malaise, flushing[Ref]

Superinfection has been reported in up to 10% of patients during aztreonam therapy and was usually due to enterococcus or staphylococcus.[Ref]


Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibiotic treatment.[Ref]

Aztreonam for inhalation:
Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting (6%)

Aztreonam for injection:
Common (1% to 10%): 1% to 1.3%: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Abdominal cramps, mouth ulcer, altered taste, numb tongue, halitosis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis, gastrointestinal bleeding[Ref]


Toxic epidermal necrolysis associated with aztreonam has been reported in very ill patients on many other medications, making implication of aztreonam difficult.[Ref]

Aztreonam for inhalation:
Common (1% to 10%): Rash (2%)

Aztreonam for injection:
Common (1% to 10%): Rash (1% to 1.3%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, purpura, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, urticaria, petechiae, pruritus, diaphoresis[Ref]


Aztreonam for injection:
Common (1% to 10%): Discomfort/swelling at the injection site after intramuscular administration (2.4%), phlebitis/thrombophlebitis after intravenous administration (1.9%)[Ref]


A 57-year-old male developed a widespread maculopapular eruption two hours after receiving aztreonam. Corticosteroids and antihistamines were needed to control the reaction which disappeared after 8 days. The patient also showed cross-reactivity to ceftazidime which shares the same side chain as aztreonam.[Ref]

Aztreonam for inhalation:
Frequency not reported: Allergic reaction (with facial rash, facial swelling, throat tightness)

Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Anaphylaxis, angioedema, bronchospasm
Rare (less than 0.1%): Maculopapular eruption (at least 1 case)[Ref]


A case of myelosuppression associated with aztreonam has been reported, but because many other drugs were administered and because the patient was bacteremic, implication of aztreonam as the causative agent was difficult.

In vitro studies have shown that aztreonam may inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation at high concentrations. Clinically, therapeutic doses of aztreonam have not been associated with bleeding problems.[Ref]

Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Pancytopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, eosinophilia, leukocytosis, thrombocytosis
Frequency not reported: Increased prothrombin time, increased partial thromboplastin time, positive Coombs' test[Ref]


Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Hepatitis, jaundice, signs or symptoms of hepatobiliary dysfunction
Frequency not reported: Elevated AST, elevated ALT, elevated alkaline phosphatase[Ref]


Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypotension (less than 1%), transient electrocardiogram changes (ventricular bigeminy, premature ventricular contractions; less than 1%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Seizure, headache, confusion, vertigo, paresthesia, insomnia, dizziness, tinnitus[Ref]


Aztreonam for inhalation:
Postmarketing reports: Arthralgia, joint swelling

Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Muscular aches (less than 1%)[Ref]


Aztreonam for injection:
Rare (less than 0.1%): Acute interstitial nephritis (at least 1 case)
Frequency not reported: Increased serum creatinine[Ref]

Acute interstitial nephritis associated with aztreonam has been reported in a very ill patient receiving many other medications.[Ref]


Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Less than 1%: Vaginal candidiasis, vaginitis, breast tenderness[Ref]


Aztreonam for injection:
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diplopia (less than 1%)[Ref]


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Not all side effects for aztreonam may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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