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Aztreonam (By breathing)

Aztreonam (az-TREE-oh-nam)

Treats bacterial lung infections.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to aztreonam.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Space the doses at least 4 hours apart.
  • Your doctor may give you medicines to use before the aztreonam inhalation liquid. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to use your medicines. Aztreonam inhalation will work better if you use all of your medicines in the right order.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine comes as a powder that needs to be mixed with a liquid before it is given.
  • Slowly swirl the vial (glass container) until the powder has completely dissolved. If the liquid in the vial is cloudy or has specks in it, throw it away and mix a new dose.
  • You will use this medicine with an inhaler device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth and to your lungs. Your caregiver will show you how to use your nebulizer. This medicine should only be used with the Altera® Nebulizer System.
  • Place the mixed liquid in the medicine reservoir or nebulizer cup right away.
  • Do not mix other medicines with the liquid in the nebulizer.
  • Use the mouthpiece of the nebulizer to breathe in the medicine.
  • Use the nebulizer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the liquid in the nebulizer cup is gone.
  • Clean the nebulizer after each use and throw out the empty vial, rubber stopper, and saline container.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the unopened vials and saline containers in the original carton in the refrigerator. You may also store the unopened vials at room temperature, away from heat and direct light, for up to 28 days. Do not store the liquid mixture after the powder is dissolved.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a history of an allergic reaction to any other antibiotics, such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefixime, or penicillin.
  • If any of your medicines do not seem to be working as well as usual, call your doctor right away. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness or discomfort, cough, trouble breathing, or shortness of breath after you use this medicine
  • Fever
  • Increased coughing or wheezing
  • Stomach pain or vomiting

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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