Health Guide

Pentamidine (By injection)

Pentamidine (pen-TAM-i-deen)

Treats Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and other types of infections.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to pentamidine.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given.
  • An IM shot is given in your muscle (upper arm, thigh, buttocks).
  • An IV is medicine that is put directly into your body through one of your veins.
  • This medicine should be given by a person trained to give IV or IM medicine, such as a nurse.
  • It is best to lie down while this medicine is given. To avoid dizziness, get up slowly.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store your medicine at room temperature, away from heat and light.
  • Any pentamidine that has been prepared for the IV is good for 24 hours and should be kept at room temperature, away from heat and light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

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:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you have low blood pressure, diabetes, low blood sugar, or liver or kidney disease.
  • You may need to use a home glucose (sugar) test to check your blood sugar levels while you are taking this medicine. Make sure you understand how to do this.
  • Your doctor may want to check your blood on a regular schedule while you are using pentamidine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling very hungry or thirsty
  • Nervousness, sweating, confusion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Sore mouth or throat
  • Skin rash, itching, or hives
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Pain, swelling, itching, or burning where the IV is given
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Change in taste or a metallic taste in your mouth

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: 7/4/2018
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