Health Guide

Colistimethate (By injection)

Colistimethate Sodium (koe-lis-ti-METH-ate SOE-dee-um)

Treats bacterial infections. This medicine is an antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

Coly-Mycin M Parenteral

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to colistimethate.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles or through a needle placed into your vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Missed dose: You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how colistimethate works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Sodium citrate
    • Medicine to treat an infection, including amikacin, gentamicin, polymyxin, sodium cephalothin

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or lung disease.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serious breathing problems if you get the shot into one of your muscles
    • Kidney problems
  • This medicine may cause dizziness, or numbness and tingling in your hands and feet. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Decrease in how much and how often you urinate, or blood in your urine
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or tingling or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, swollen legs or feet, weakness
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems
  • Severe diarrhea

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Fever
  • Itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed or where the shot is given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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