What is pentamidine isethionate?
Pentamidine isethionate is anprescription medicine approved by the U.S. (FDA) for the treatment and prevention of (PCP). The FDA-approved uses for pentamidine isethionate depend on the of the drug. Specifically, pentamidine isethionate injection is approved to treat PCP, and pentamidine isethionate inhalant is approved to prevent PCP in people with HIV who are at high risk of developing PCP.
PCP can be an What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.(OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened —such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo
How is pentamidine isethionate used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and/or the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV include recommendations on the use of pentamidine isethionate to:
- PCP from occurring the first time and from recurring
- from recurring
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of pentamidine isethionate. See the Adult and Pediatric Opportunistic Infection Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of pentamidine isethionate in adults and children with HIV. Pentamidine isethionate may have other recommended uses not listed above.
What should I tell my health care provider before using pentamidine isethionate?
Before using pentamidine isethionate, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to pentamidine isethionate or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, including:
- High or low blood pressure
- Heart rhythm problems
- High or low blood sugar
- Low levels of calcium
- , , or
- or problems
- About anything that could affect your ability to use pentamidine isethionate, such as difficulty using a nebulizer or any health conditions that may prevent you from receiving medicine by injection or . (A nebulizer is a machine that turns liquid medicine into a mist which can be inhaled by mouth into the lungs.)
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of using pentamidine isethionate during pregnancy. The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV may include other recommendations on the use of pentamidine isethionate during pregnancy. Please refer to these guidelines for additional information.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Pentamidine isethionate may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how pentamidine isethionate works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between pentamidine isethionate and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from pentamidine isethionate. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I use pentamidine isethionate?
Use pentamidine isethionate according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much pentamidine isethionate to use and when to use it. Before you start pentamidine isethionate and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should pentamidine isethionate be stored?
- Store vials of pentamidine isethionate dry powder for injection at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Protect the vials from light. After the contents of the vial have been reconstituted (mixed) with sterile water, the solution is stable for 48 hours in the original vial at room temperature if protected from light. Pentamidine isethionate intravenous infusion solutions (1 mg/mL and 2.5 mg/mL) in 5% Dextrose Injection, USP are stable at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
- Store vials of pentamidine isethionate dry powder for inhalation solution at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Protect the vials from light. After the contents of the vial have been reconstituted (mixed) with sterile water, the solution is stable for 48 hours in the original vial at room temperature if protected from light.
- Keep pentamidine isethionate in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.
- Do not use pentamidine isethionate if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away pentamidine isethionate that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep pentamidine isethionate and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about pentamidine isethionate?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of pentamidine isethionate, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Children with and Exposed to HIV.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (powder, lyophilized, for solution); Inhalant.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for pentamidine injection and pentamidine oral inhalation available from MedlinePlus.
- Research studies related to pentamidine isethionate, from ClinicalTrials.gov. (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests.)
Last Reviewed: September 24, 2023