Azactam Warnings and Precautions
Some precautions and warnings with Azactam involve potential drug interactions, the possible danger of developing a serious skin rash, and the risk of secondary infections. For your safety, let your healthcare provider know if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or any allergies before you use this medicine.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Azactam® (aztreonam injection) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Had a bone marrow transplant or will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant
- Had or will be having radiation treatment
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
- This medication may cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Although rare, it is possible that people who are allergic to certain other antibiotics (called beta-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillins, cephalosporins, and carbapenems) could also be allergic to Azactam. Let your healthcare provider know if you have had an allergic reaction to other antibiotics. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop signs of an allergic reaction during Azactam treatment, such as:
- A facial rash
- Facial swelling
- Chest tightness.
- Nearly all antibiotics, including Azactam, can affect the balance of normal bacteria in the digestive tract, allowing an overgrowth of undesirable bacteria known as Clostridium difficile. C. difficile overgrowth can be potentially life-threatening. While mild diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics, bloody or watery diarrhea (with or without stomach cramps and fever) could be signs of a more serious problem.
Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea, which can occur during Azactam treatment, or even over two months after treatment ends.
- Rarely, this medication has been reported to cause a serious skin reaction known as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). This reaction has occurred in people receiving Azactam who are undergoing bone marrow transplants and have other risk factors for TEN, including a blood infection, radiation treatment, and the use of other medicines that increase the risk for TEN. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a rash during Azactam treatment, which could be an early sign of this potentially serious skin reaction.
- This medication should only be used to treat known or strongly suspected bacterial infections. It will not work to treat viral infections, such as the common cold. Using it to treat viral infections or bacterial infections that are not likely to respond to Azactam could lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Because the kidneys remove Azactam from the body, you may need a lower dose and careful monitoring if you have kidney disease. People with liver disease may also need to be closely monitored during Azactam treatment.
- Antibiotics kill some but not all of the bacteria in the body. When the antibiotic gets rid of "good" bacteria, it can allow other "bad" organisms that are not killed by the antibiotic to grow out of control. This may lead to secondary infections, including yeast infections or other bacterial infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you have ongoing signs of infection, or develop any new symptoms of infection, such as:
- Skin infections
- Vaginal itching or burning
- Creamy white patches in your mouth.
- It is common for people to start feeling better shortly after beginning antibiotic treatment. However, this does not mean your infection is completely gone. It is important to complete Azactam treatment as prescribed. Skipping doses or stopping the medication too early could cause your infection to return, or lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to Azactam or other antibiotics in the future.
- Azactam may react with a few other medications (see Azactam Drug Interactions).
- Azactam is a pregnancy Category B medication, which means it is likely safe for use during pregnancy (see Azactam and Pregnancy).
- Azactam passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Azactam and Breastfeeding).