Tobi is prescribed to treat a certain bacterial infection in people who have cystic fibrosis. This medicine is designed to treat an infection caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. As a type of antibiotic, Tobi works by interfering with bacteria's ability to grow and multiply. There are also off-label (unapproved) uses for Tobi, such as treating bacterial lung infections in those who don't have cystic fibrosis.
Tobi® (tobramycin inhalation solution) is a prescription medication approved to treat people with cystic fibrosis who have a lung infection caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Tobi belongs to a group of medicines known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. It is inhaled into the lungs using a nebulizer.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic (inherited) condition caused by a defective gene that causes the body to make abnormally thick and sticky mucus. The abnormal mucus builds up and damages the lungs, digestive tract, and other body organs.
The thick, sticky mucus caused by cystic fibrosis can lead to a variety of complications, mostly in the digestive and respiratory systems. The exact symptoms of cystic fibrosis can vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the condition. The most common symptoms include:
- Frequent coughing with increased mucus in the lungs
- Recurrent episodes of pneumonia
- Poor growth
- Abdominal (stomach) pain and discomfort
(Click Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms to learn more.)
For many people, the thick mucus in the lungs easily traps bacteria, leading to frequent bouts of infection. One of the most common lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis is an infection with the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Over time, the mucus buildup and repeated infections can lead to permanent lung damage, including the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) and cysts in the lungs.
There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis, but treatment can help control symptoms and reduce complications. The goals for treating cystic fibrosis include loosening and removing mucus from the lungs, providing adequate nutrition, and preventing and controlling lung infections (see Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis).
Tobi is an inhaled antibiotic that is effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It must be used with a nebulizer and air compressor. These devices turn the liquid medicine into a mist that can quickly reach the lungs after being inhaled.
In clinical studies, Tobi was shown to improve lung function in people with cystic fibrosis. People treated with Tobi also spent fewer days in the hospital and were less likely to need intravenous antibiotics. The Tobi clinical studies did not include people with severe cystic fibrosis or people who had Burkholderia cepacia bacteria in their lungs. Therefore, it is not entirely known whether Tobi is effective in these people.