Why is this medication prescribed?
Aztreonam injection is used to treat certain infections that are caused by bacteria, including respiratory tract (including pneumonia and bronchitis), urinary tract, blood, skin, gynecological, and abdominal (stomach area) infections, that are caused by bacteria. Aztreonam injection also may be used before, during, and sometimes for a brief period after surgery in order to prevent the patient from getting an infection. It is also used for the prevention of infections following colorectal surgery. Aztreonam is in a class of medications called carbapenem antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria.
Antibiotics such as aztreonam injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
How should this medicine be used?
Aztreonam injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle). When aztreonam is injected intravenously, it is usually infused (injected slowly) over a period of 20 minutes to 1 hour. When aztreonam is given intramuscularly, it is injected into the muscles of the buttocks or thighs. How often you receive aztreonam injection and the length of your treatment depends on the type of infection you have and how your body responds to the medication. Your doctor will tell you how long to use aztreonam 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 aztreonam injection in a hospital, or you may use the medication at home. If you will be using aztreonam 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 aztreonam injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Use aztreonam injection until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using aztreonam injection too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Other uses for this medicine
Aztreonam injection is also sometimes used to treat patients who have fever and are at high risk for infection because they have a low number of white blood cell. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using aztreonam injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aztreonam, cephalosporins such as cefaclor (Ceclor), cefadroxil (Duricef), or cephalexin (Keflex), beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox), carbapenem antibiotics such as doripenem (Doribax), ertapenem (Invanz), or meropenem (Merrem), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in aztreonam 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.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using aztreonam injection, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Aztreonam injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- redness, irritation, or swelling at the injection site
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- 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)
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- blisters on the skin, mouth, nose, and eyes
Aztreonam injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking 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
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to aztreonam 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.