Pentamidine Isethionate Nebulization Solution (NebuPent®, Pentam®)

What Is Pentamidine Isethionate?

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 Dosage

Pentamidine isethionate is administered by pentamide inhalation but is also available as a solution or as an injection.

How to Properly Take Pentamidine Isethionate

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.

Missed Doses

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.

Pentamidine Isethionate Side Effects

Common side effects of pentamidine isethionate include:

  • Metallic taste. Sucking on hard candy after treatments can help to reduce the taste.
  • Low blood pressure. If your child experiences this effect, have him or her lie down and rest for awhile.
  • Dizziness and fatigue. These are common symptoms of low blood pressure. Getting up slowly helps prevent dizziness.

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:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Abdominal or chest pain

If your child has trouble with any of these, inform your transplant doctor or transplant coordinator.

Pentamidine Isethionate Drug Interactions

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.

Precautions for Children

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.

Pentamidine Isethionate Availability

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.

Learn more about other Intestine Transplant Drugs.