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Pentamidine (Pentam)

How does this medicine work? 

Pentamidine (pen-TAM-i-deen) is an injectable antifungal and antiprotozoal agent. It disrupts the production of RNA and DNA. Pentamidine is used in the prevention and treatment of Pneumocystis jirovecii (PJP) and treatment of PJP.

How is the medicine given?

Pentamidine is given every 3-4 weeks in the vein (IV) by an infusion. 

What are the side effects?


  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fast heart beat


  • Low blood counts
  • Rash
  • Low blood pressure


  • Liver damage
  • Acute kidney damage

When should I call the clinic?

Call the clinic if:

  • Fever, chills
  • Bleeding, unusual bruising
  • Severe nausea/vomiting
  • Cough, shortness of breath
  • Have fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness, loss of consciousness
  • Signs of an allergic reaction:

            - rash or hives

            - wheezing

            - trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

During the infusion, your child will have his or her vital signs monitored.

The CDC recommends Pentamidine for patients who are not able to take Bactrim for PJP prophylaxis.

You or your child will have regular blood tests while receiving this medication. This is to make sure all of the body’s organs are working properly.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.


This information is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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