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Coly Mycin M Side Effects

Generic Name: colistimethate

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of colistimethate. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Coly Mycin M.

For the Consumer

Applies to colistimethate: injection powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by colistimethate (the active ingredient contained in Coly Mycin M). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking colistimethate, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

Incidence not known:
  • Blood in the urine
  • bluish lips or skin
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • change in frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • decrease in amount of urine
  • difficulty with breathing
  • drowsiness
  • fever
  • increased thirst
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • slurred speech
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest
  • tingling of the arms, legs, and tongue
  • troubled breathing
  • weakness
  • wheezing

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking colistimethate, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Dizziness
  • mood or mental changes
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • uncontrolled eye movements
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with colistimethate 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:

Incidence not known:
  • Diarrhea
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • hives or welts
  • itching
  • redness of the skin
  • sensation of spinning
  • stomach cramps or pain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to colistimethate: compounding powder, injectable powder for injection

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included tingling of the tongue and extremities, slurred speech, dizziness, vertigo, paresthesia, confusion, psychosis, and seizures. Neuromuscular blockade may occur with overdoses.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included respiratory distress and apnea. Inhalation treatment has been associated with cough and bronchospasm. At least one case of fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome with nebulized colistimethate (the active ingredient contained in Coly Mycin M) has been reported.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included generalized itching, urticaria, and rash.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included gastrointestinal upset, nausea, and vomiting.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have included rash, drug fever, and eosinophilia.[Ref]


Local side effects have included pain at the injection site.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included muscular weakness.[Ref]


Other side effects have included fever.[Ref]


Renal side effects have included increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, nephrotoxicity, decreased urine output, acute tubular necrosis, and hematuria.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Coly-Mycin M Parenteral (colistimethate)." Parke-Davis, Morris Plains, NJ.

2. Hartzell JD, Neff R, Ake J, et al. "Nephrotoxicity Associated with Intravenous Colistin (Colistimethate Sodium) Treatment at a Tertiary Care Medical Center." Clin Infect Dis 48 (2009): 1724-8

3. McCoy KS "Compounded colistimethate as possible cause of fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome." N Engl J Med 357 (2007): 2310-1

4. Lindesmith LA, Baines RD Jr, Bigelow DB, Petty TL "Reversible respiratory paralysis associated with polymyxin therapy." Ann Intern Med 68 (1968): 318-27

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

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.