URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682860.html

Colistimethate Injection

pronounced as (koe lis ti meth' ate)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Colistimethate injection is used to treat bacterial infections. Colistimethate injection is in a class of medications called polymyxin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria that cause infection.

Antibiotics such as colistimethate injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking or using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

How should this medicine be used?

Colistimethate injection comes as a powder to be made into a solution and injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle). The length of treatment depends on your general health, the type of infection you have, and how well you respond to the medication. Your doctor will tell you how long to use colistimethate injection. After your condition improves, your doctor may switch you to another antibiotic that you can take by mouth to complete your treatment.

You may receive colistimethate injection in a hospital, or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving colistimethate injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with colistimethate injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using colistimethate injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to colistimethate injection, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in colistimethate injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, paromomycin, and tobramycin (Tobi); cephalothin (no longer available in the US), or polymyxin. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving colistimethate injection, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving colistimethate injection.
  • you should know that colistimethate injection may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Colistimethate injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • stomach discomfort
  • numbness or pricking sensation
  • tingling in the hands, feet, or mouth
  • slurred speech
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • dizziness

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)
  • itching
  • rash
  • hives
  • difficulty breathing
  • decreased urination

Colistimethate injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • tiredness or weakness
  • numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • uncontrollable eye movements
  • impaired speech
  • decreased urination

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests during your treatment to check your body's response to colistimethate injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Coly-Mycin® M Injection
Last Revised - 10/15/2016