Pentamidine (inhalation)

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Pentamidine (inhalation)
Adult Indications & Dosage
Pediatric Indications & Dosage
Warnings & Precautions
Adverse Reactions
Drug Interactions
Use in Specific Populations
Administration & Monitoring
Clinical Studies
How Supplied
Patient Counseling Information
Precautions with Alcohol
Brand Names
Look-Alike Names

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vignesh Ponnusamy, M.B.B.S. [2]


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Pentamidine (inhalation) is an antiprotozoal agent that is FDA approved for the treatment of pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia. Common adverse reactions include rash, loss of appetite, nausea, increased liver function test, nephrotoxicity, bronchospasm, cough, dyspnea.

Adult Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Adult)

Pneumocystis jiroveci Pneumonia
  • a history of one or more episodes of PJP
  • a peripheral CD4+ (T4 helper/inducer) lymphocyte count less than or equal to 200/mm3.
  • Dosing Information
  • The recommended adult dosage of NebuPent for the prevention of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is 300 mg once every four weeks administered via the Respirgard® II nebulizer.
  • The dose should be delivered until the nebulizer chamber is empty (approximately 30 to 45 minutes). The flow rate should be 5 to 7 liters per minute from a 40 to 50 pounds per square inch (PSI) air or oxygen source. Alternatively, a 40 to 50 PSI air compressor can be used with flow limited by setting the flowmeter at 5 to 7 liters per minute or by setting the pressure at 22 to 25 PSI. Low pressure (less than 20 PSI) compressors should not be used.
  • Stability
  • Freshly prepared solutions for aerosol use are recommended. After reconstitution with sterile water, the NebuPent solution is stable for 48 hours in the original vial at room temperature if protected from light.

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Adult)

Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in adult patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in adult patients.

Pediatric Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Pediatric)

There is limited information regarding FDA-Labeled Use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in pediatric patients.

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Pediatric)

Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in pediatric patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in pediatric patients.


  • NebuPent is contraindicated in patients with a ­history of an anaphylactic reaction to inhaled or parenteral pentamidine isethionate.


  • The potential for development of acute PJP still exists in patients receiving NebuPent prophylaxis. Therefore, any patient with symptoms suggestive of the presence of a pulmonary infection, including but not limited to dyspnea, fever or cough, should receive a thorough medical evaluation and appropriate diagnostic tests for possible acute PJP as well as for other opportunistic and nonopportunistic pathogens. The use of NebuPent may alter the clinical and radiographic features of PJP and could result in an atypical presentation, including but not limited to mild disease or focal ­infection.
  • Prior to initiating NebuPent prophylaxis, symptomatic patients should be evaluated appropriately to exclude the presence of PJP. The recommended dose of NebuPent for the prevention of PJP is insufficient to treat acute PJP.


  • Pulmonary
  • Inhalation of NebuPent may induce bronchospasm or cough. This has been noted particularly in some patients who have a history of smoking or asthma. In clinical trials, cough and bronchospasm were the most frequently reported adverse experiences associated with NebuPent administration (38% and 15%, respectively of patients receiving the 300 mg dose); however less than 1% of the doses were interrupted or terminated due to these effects. For the majority of patients, cough and bronchospasm were controlled by administration of an aerosolized bronchodilator (only 1% of patients withdrew from the study due to treatment-associated cough or bronchospasm). In patients who experience bronchospasm or cough, administration of an inhaled bronchodilator prior to giving each NebuPent dose may minimize recurrence of the symptoms.
  • General

Adverse Reactions

Clinical Trials Experience

  • The most frequently reported unsolicited adverse events (1 to 5%) in clinical trials, regardless of their relation to NebuPent therapy were as follows (n=931):
Body as a Whole

Night sweats.


Diarrhea and nausea.




Bronchitis, non-specific herpes, ­herpes zoster, non-specific influenza, oral Candida, pharyngitis, sinusitis, and upper respiratory tract.

Nervous System


Respiratory System

Chest pain, cough, and wheezing.

Special Senses

Bad taste.

  • Adverse events of less than 1% incidence were as follows (No causal relationship to treatment has been established for these adverse events):
Body as a Whole

Allergic reaction, non-specific allergy, body odor, facial edema, fever, leg edema, lethargy, low body temperature, and temperature abnormality.


Cerebrovascular accident, hypotension, hypertension, palpitations, poor circulation, syncope, tachycardia, vasodilatation and vasculitis.


Abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, constipation, dry mouth, dyspepsia, gastritis, gastric ulcer, gingivitis, hiatal hernia, hypersalivation, oral ulcer/abscess, splenomegaly, and vomiting.


Eosinophilia, neutropenia, non-specific cytopenia, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia.


Hepatitis, hepatomegaly, and hepatic dysfunction.


Bacterial pneumonia, central venous line related sepsis, cryptococcal meningitis, cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis, CMV retinitis, esophageal Candida, histoplasmosis, Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-specific mycoplasma, oral herpes, non-specific otitis, non-specific pharyngitis, pharyngeal herpes, non-specific serious infection, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, and viral encephalitis.


Hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and hypocalcemia.


Arthralgia, gout, and myalgia.


Anxiety, confusion, depression, drowsiness, emotional lability, hallucination, hypesthesia, insomnia, memory loss, neuralgia, neuropathy, non-specific neuropathy, nervousness, paranoia, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, seizure, tremors, unsteady gait, and vertigo.



Respiratory system

Asthma, bronchitis, bronchospasm, chest congestion, chest tightness, coryza, cyanosis, eosinophilic or interstitial pneumonitis, gagging, hemoptysis, hyperventilation, laryngitis, laryngospasm, non-specific lung disorder, nasal congestion, pleuritis, pneumothorax, rales, rhinitis, shortness of breath, non-specific sputum, and tachypnea.


Desquamation, dry and breaking hair, dry skin, erythema, non-specific dermatitis, pruritus, rash, and urticaria.

Special senses

Blepharitis, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, contact lens discomfort, eye pain or discomfort, hemianopsia, loss of taste, non-specific odor, and smell.


Flank pain, incontinence, nephritis, renal failure, and renal pain.

  • In a clinical trial where some adverse events were solicited by investigators, the incidences were as follows:

Postmarketing Experience

Drug Interactions

  • While specific studies on drug interactions with NebuPent have not been conducted, the majority of patients in clinical trials received concomitant medications, including zidovudine, with no reported interactions. Because the nephrotoxic effects may be additive, the concomitant or sequential use of NebuPent and other nephrotoxic drugs such as aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, cisplatin, foscarnet, or vancomycin should be closely monitored and avoided, if possible.

Use in Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category (FDA):

  • Pregnancy Category C
  • There are no adequate and well controlled studies of NebuPent in pregnant women. A literature report indicated that intravenously administered pentamidine in pregnant rats at 4 mg/kg/day was embryolethal; teratogenicity was not observed in this study. It is unknown whether pentamidine administered via the aerosolized route crosses the placenta at clinically significant concentrations. It is not known whether NebuPent can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. NebuPent should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Pregnancy Category (AUS):

  • Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) Pregnancy Category

There is no Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) guidance on usage of Pentamidine (inhalation) in women who are pregnant.

Labor and Delivery

There is no FDA guidance on use of Pentamidine (inhalation) during labor and delivery.

Nursing Mothers

  • It is not known whether NebuPent is excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from NebuPent, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, NebuPent should not be given to a nursing mother unless the potential benefits are judged to outweigh the unknown risks.

Pediatric Use

  • The safety and effectiveness of NebuPent in pediatric patients (birth to 16 years of age) have not been established.

Geriatic Use

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) with respect to geriatric patients.


There is no FDA guidance on the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) with respect to specific gender populations.


There is no FDA guidance on the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) with respect to specific racial populations.

Renal Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in patients with renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in patients with hepatic impairment.

Females of Reproductive Potential and Males

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in women of reproductive potentials and males.

Immunocompromised Patients

There is no FDA guidance one the use of Pentamidine (inhalation) in patients who are immunocompromised.

Administration and Monitoring


  • Oral
  • Intravenous


There is limited information regarding Monitoring of Pentamidine (inhalation) in the drug label.

IV Compatibility

There is limited information regarding IV Compatibility of Pentamidine (inhalation) in the drug label.


Acute Overdose

Signs and Symptoms

  • Overdosage has not been reported with NebuPent. The symptoms and signs of overdosage are not known.
  • A serious overdosage, to the point of producing systemic drug levels similar to those following parenteral administration, would have the potential of producing similar types of serious systemic toxicity.
  • Available clinical pharmacology data suggest that a dose up to 40 times the recommended NebuPent dosage would be required to produce systemic levels similar to a single 4 mg/kg intravenous dose.

Chronic Overdose

There is limited information regarding Chronic Overdose of Pentamidine (inhalation) in the drug label.


Pentamidine (inhalation)
Systematic (IUPAC) name
4,4'-[pentane- 1,5-diylbis(oxy)]dibenzenecarboximidamide
CAS number 100-33-4
ATC code P01CX01 Template:ATCvet
PubChem 4735
DrugBank DB00738
Chemical data
Formula Template:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox atomTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBoxTemplate:OrganicBox 
Mol. mass 340.42 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability ?
Protein binding 69%
Metabolism ?
Half life 6.4-9.4 hours
Excretion ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status

Template:Unicode Prescription only

Routes IV, IM, inhalation

Mechanism of Action

  • Studies suggest that the pentamidine isethionate interferes with microbial nuclear metabolism by inhibition of DNA, RNA, phospholipid and protein synthesis. However, the mode of action is not fully understood.


  • NebuPent (pentamidine isethionate), an antifungal agent, is a nonpyrogenic lyophilized product. After reconstitution with Sterile Water for Injection, USP, NebuPent is administered by inhalation via the Respirgard® II nebulizer [Marquest, Englewood, CO].
  • Pentamidine isethionate, 4,4’-[1,5-pentane-diylbis(oxy)]bis-benzenecarboximidamid, is a white crystalline powder soluble in water and glycerin and insoluble in ether, acetone, and chloroform.
File:Pentamidine (inhalation)01.png
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.


There is limited information regarding Pharmacodynamics of Pentamidine (inhalation) in the drug label.


  • In 5 AIDS patients with suspected Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP), the mean concentrations of pentamidine determined 18 to 24 hours after inhalation therapy were 23.2 ng/mL (range 5.1 to 43.0 ng/mL) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and 705 ng/mL (range 140 to 1336 ng/mL) in sediment after administration of a 300 mg single dose via the Respirgard® II nebulizer. In 3 AIDS patients with suspected PJP, the mean concentrations of pentamidine determined 18 to 24 hours after a 4 mg/kg intravenous dose were 2.6 ng/mL (range 1.5 to 4.0 ng/mL) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and 9.3 ng/mL (range 6.9 to 12.8 ng/mL) in sediment. In the patients who received aerosolized pentamidine, the peak plasma levels of pentamidine were at or below the lower limit of detection of the assay (2.3 ng/mL).
  • Following a single 2-hour intravenous infusion of 4 mg/kg of pentamidine isethionate to 6 AIDS patients, the mean plasma Cmax, T 1/2 and clearance were 612 ± 371 ng/mL, 6.4 ± 1.3 hr and 248 ± 91 L/hr respectively. In another study of aerosolized pentamidine in 13 AIDS patients with acute PJP who received 4 mg/kg/day administered via the Ultra Vent® jet nebulizer, peak plasma levels of pentamidine averaged 18.8 ± 11.9 ng/mL after the first dose. During the next 14 days of repeated dosing, the highest observed Cmax averaged 20.5 ± 21.2 ng/mL. In a third study, following daily administration of 600 mg of inhaled pentamidine isethionate with the Respirgard® II nebulizer for 21 days in 11 patients with acute PJP, mean plasma levels measured shortly after the 21st dose averaged 11.8 ± 10.0 ng/mL. Plasma concentrations after aerosol administration are substantially lower than those observed after a comparable intravenous dose. The extent of pentamidine accumulation and distribution following chronic inhalation therapy are not known.
  • In rats, intravenous administration of a 5 mg/kg dose resulted in concentrations of pentamidine in the liver and kidney that were 87.5 and 62.3-fold higher, respectively, than levels in those organs following 5 mg/kg administered as an aerosol.
  • No pharmacokinetic data are available following aerosol administration of pentamidine in humans with impaired hepatic or renal function.

Nonclinical Toxicology

  • Literature reports indicate that pentamidine was not mutagenic in the Ames bacterial (S. typhimurium) test and did not induce an increase in chromosomal aberrations in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell or in human lymphocytes in vitro.
  • No studies have been conducted to determine effects of pentamidine isethionate on carcinogenicity or fertility.

Clinical Studies

There is limited information regarding Clinical Studies of Pentamidine (inhalation) in the drug label.

How Supplied

  • Product No: 87715 63323-877-15
  • NebuPent® (pentamidine isethionate) 300 mg lyophilized product in single dose vials, individually packaged.
  • Store dry product at 20°to 25°C (68°to 77°F).
  • Protect the dry product and the reconstituted solution from light.


There is limited information regarding Pentamidine (inhalation) Storage in the drug label.


Drug Images

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Package and Label Display Panel

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Patient Counseling Information

There is limited information regarding Patient Counseling Information of Pentamidine (inhalation) in the drug label.

Precautions with Alcohol

  • Alcohol-Pentamidine (inhalation) interaction has not been established. Talk to your doctor about the effects of taking alcohol with this medication.

Brand Names

Look-Alike Drug Names

There is limited information regarding Pentamidine (inhalation) Look-Alike Drug Names in the drug label.

Drug Shortage Status



The contents of this FDA label are provided by the National Library of Medicine.

  1. "NEBUPENT- pentamidine isethionate inhalant".


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