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Why is it prescribed?

Colistin can be used by injection to treat lung infections.  It can also be used via nebulization to treat lung infections and increase lung function in Cystic Fibrosis.  The information given here will be about inhalation use in Cystic Fibrosis

Products that have this ingredient include •Coly-mycin M •Colistimethate •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •cystic fibrosis •

The most common side effects:

  • cough
  • throat irritation
  • abnormal taste
  • chest tightness
  • bronchospasm

To minimize these side effects, your physician may suggest you use a bronchodilator (like salbutamol) before taking your inhaled colistin dose.


Colistin belongs to the polymyxin family of antibiotics.  It decreases the amount of certain bacteria in the lungs.

Do not use if you have ever had a previous reaction to colistin. Discuss use with your physician if you've had reactions to inhaled medications in the past.

DO NOT mix colistin with any other medications.

Do not double any dose. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose.

Use in pregnancy: Little human data. Discuss with health care professional before use.

Use in breastfeeding.  Use of inhaled colistin is considered acceptable.