POLYMYXIN B SULFATE

IDENTIFICATION AND USE: Polymyxin B sulfate is a drug of choice in the treatment of infections of the urinary tract, meninges, and bloodstream caused by susceptible strains of Ps. aeruginosa. It may also be used topically and subconjunctivally in the treatment of infections of the eye caused by susceptible strains of Ps. aeruginosa.

HUMAN EXPOSURE: Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including Polymyxin B for Injection, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

NEPHROTOXIC REACTIONS: Albuminuria, cylinduria, azotemia, and rising blood levels without any increase in dosage.

NEUROTOXIC REACTIONS: Facial flushing, dizziness progressing to ataxia, drowsiness, peripheral paresthesias (circumoral and stocking glove), apnea due to concurrent use of curariform muscle relaxants, other neurotoxic drugs or inadvertent overdosage, and signs of meningeal irritation with intrathecal administration, e.g., fever, headache, stiff neck and increased cell count and protein cerebrospinal fluid.

OTHER REACTIONS OCCASIONALLY REPORTED: Drug fever, urticarial rash, pain (severe) at intramuscular injection sites, and thrombophlebitis at intravenous injection sites.

FOUND IN THE FOLLOWING VACCINES: INFLUENZA (FLUVIRIN), POLIO (IPV-IPOL), DTAP+IPV (KINRIX), DTAP+HEP B+IPV (PEDIARIX), DTAP+IPV+HIB (PENTACEL)