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Pentamidine isethionate (NebuPent®, Pentam®) is used to prevent and treat Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a very serious type of pneumonia, following liver transplantation. It may be prescribed for patients who cannot take Bactrim®.
Pentamidine isethionate is administered by pentamide inhalation but is also available as a solution or as an injection.
This medication is inhaled through a special breathing unit called a nebulizer, which helps the drug travel deep into the lungs. A treatment usually takes 30 to 45 minutes and is given once a month. Your transplant coordinator will assist you in making arrangements for having this medication administered at a doctor's office or, if possible, at home.
If your child misses a treatment, notify your coordinator. If the treatment has already been arranged for your child at home, notify the appropriate person. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Common side effects of pentamidine isethionate include:
You may also notice that your child has less of an appetite than usual. Sometimes, people taking this medication have upset stomachs or diarrhea. These side effects are not unusual, and by themselves are not cause for alarm. Other common side effects include headache, dizziness, dryness, congestion, and cough.
In rare cases, people receiving this treatment experience:
If your child has trouble with any of these, inform your transplant doctor or transplant coordinator.
Tell your transplant doctor or pharmacist about any prescription or over-the counter medications your child is taking, so you can be warned of interactions and prevent them.
Inform your coordinator if your child has asthma, allergies, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, or high or low blood sugar. Albuterol, another medication given by breathing treatment, may be prescribed. Albuterol can be given before Pentamidine treatment to prevent coughing and bronchospasm.
Not all pharmacies stock pentamidine isethionate. Call your pharmacist at least five business days before you need to fill a pentamidine isethionate prescription, to make sure the medication will be available.
Drug information changes periodically. For the most updated information on drugs, visit www.drugs.com.
Learn more about other Liver Transplant Drugs.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.