Melissa Benoit


Why is this medication prescribed?
Colistin (Coly-Mycin®) is an intravenous antibiotic that belongs to a class of medications called polymyxins. In CF, colistin is used to treat lung infections caused by specific bacteria - for example Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

How does this medication work?
Colistin works by decreasing the amount of bacteria in the lungs.

What is the usual dose?
The usual colistin dose for adults with CF is 75mg twice a day by IV.

How should this medication be taken?
It is important that you receive colistin on a regular schedule as the drug works best when there is a constant amount of drug in the body. The treatment usually lasts 10-14 days, however, your doctor may decide that you need a longer treatment.

It is possible that your treatment could be finished at home. If you finish therapy at home, colistin should be given by someone trained to administer IV medications. Sometimes you or a family member can be taught to administer IV antibiotics.

If the IV bags are to be kept in the fridge, take the IV bag for the next dose out of the fridge one hour before the dose is due and let it warm to room temperature.

You must complete your treatment of antibiotics. Do not stop unless your doctor tells you to.

What should I do if I miss a dose?
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.

What should I expect from this medication?
You may or may not experience side effects. These side effects may disappear but let your doctor know if they are severe or if they last for more than 2 days. These include mild nausea, diarrhea, and pain at the site of the injection, but tell us if you have any other side effects as well.

Watch for and report any generalized pain or numbness, tingling of hands and feet, itchiness, vertigo, dizziness or slurred speech. If you notice decreased urine output please notify your doctor.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience rash, hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, throat or lips.

If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, talk to your doctor before starting any antibiotics.

If you are dehydrated or receive a long treatment or high dosage of colistin you may have an increased risk of toxicity.