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Aztreonam is used to treat bacterial infections of the urinary tract, skin, bone, stomach, joint, blood, female reproductive system, as well as cystic fibrosis (lung infection causing difficulty in breathing in abnormal airways) and pneumonia.

How it works

Aztreonam belongs to the class of medications called monocyclic beta-lactam antibiotics. Aztreonam kills gram negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Neisseria meningitides, and Haemophilus influenza. It works by inhibiting the bacterial cell wall formation that is essential for bacterial growth and survival, thereby killing the bacteria.

Common side effects

Rash, Abdominal bloating, Bleeding, Confusion, Convulsion, Cramps, Diarrhoea, Altered taste, Shortness of breath, Fever, Sneezing, Sore mouth, Sore throat, Stomach upset, Facial swelling, Vomiting, Fatigue, Wheezing


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Expert advice

  • Consult your doctor if you have or had any of the following medical conditions: allergic reaction to other antibiotics, or diarrhea after taking antibiotics, stomach, intestine, kidney or liver problems,  blood disorders, skin disorders including toxic epidermal necrolysis (widespread peeling of the superficial layers of the skin), fits.
  • Do not start aztreonam nebulized solution if you are allergic to other antibiotic, have chest tightness after taking inhaled medicine, kidney problems, cough blood, low lung function test.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop prolonged or bloody diarrhea, swelling of the lips, face, tongue and/or throat with difficulty in breathing or swallowing after taking aztreonam injection or infusion.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is aztreonam a carbapenem, broad spectrum, penicillin or vesicant?
Aztreonam is not a carbapenem, broad spectrum antibiotic, penicillin.

Q. Does aztreonam have penicillin in it?
 It does not contain penicillin. Aztreonam is a beta-lactam antibiotic and vesicant.
Q. Is aztreonam safe in penicillin allergy?
Aztreonam is considered to be safe in patients allergic to penicillin.
Q. Does aztreonam cover pseudomonas, enterococcus, atypicals, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, klebsiella?
Aztreonam is not active against enterococcus, atypicals, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Aztreonam is active against pseudomonas, klebsiella and other gram negative bacteria.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)