What Is Tobramycin Inhalation Powder Used For?

Tobramycin inhalation powder is a type of antibiotic prescribed to treat certain bacterial infections in adults and children as young as six years old. It is specifically used to treat an infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in people who have cystic fibrosis. This medicine can also be prescribed for unapproved uses, such as treating bacterial lung infections in people who don't have cystic fibrosis.

An Overview of Uses for Tobramycin Inhalation Powder

Tobramycin inhalation powder (Tobi® Podhaler™) is a prescription medication approved to treat people with cystic fibrosis who have an infection with the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This medicine belongs to a class of antibiotics known as aminoglycosides.

Understanding Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that primarily affects the respiratory and digestive systems. It is caused by a defect in a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene (see Causes of Cystic Fibrosis).
Mucus is a substance that lines many areas in the body, including the lungs, sinuses, digestive tract, and reproductive system. It is extremely important for keeping the body tissues moist and preventing them from getting infected. Normally, mucus is thin and slippery. However, for people with cystic fibrosis, the defective CFTR gene causes the body to produce mucus that is abnormally thick and sticky.
This thick, sticky mucus clogs the airways, causing breathing problems. It also traps bacteria in the lungs, leading to frequent infections. Over time, the frequent infections can cause serious damage to the lungs.
The mucus can also block tubes in the pancreas. When these tubes are clogged, digestive enzymes that are produced by your pancreas cannot reach the small intestine, where they are needed to help break down food for nutrients. As a result, people with cystic fibrosis cannot properly absorb nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition and problems with growth.
Cystic fibrosis can also cause problems in other body organs, including the sweat glands and reproductive organs. This can lead to other symptoms of the condition, such as infertility and dehydration.
(Click Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms to learn more about this topic, as well as other medical problems that may result from these symptoms.)
There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis, but several treatments are available to help alleviate symptoms and reduce complications. The primary goals of treatment include loosening and removing mucus from the lungs, ensuring adequate nutrition, and preventing and controlling lung infections (see Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis).
One of the most common lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis is an infection with the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Tobramycin inhalation powder can help control a Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection because it contains an antibiotic (tobramycin) that is effective against the bacteria.
Tobramycin inhalation powder comes in the form of capsules. The contents are inhaled into the lungs with the use of the specially designed Podhaler device that comes with the medication. The capsules are not intended to be swallowed. The medication will not work if swallowed because the powder contained in the capsules will not reach the lungs.
In clinical studies, tobramycin inhalation powder was shown to improve lung function in people with cystic fibrosis. People treated with this medicine were also less likely to need a hospital stay and were less likely to need additional antibiotics to treat their infection. The clinical studies on tobramycin inhalation powder did not include people with severe cystic fibrosis or people who had the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia in their lungs. Therefore, it is not entirely known whether tobramycin inhalation powder is effective in these cases.

Tobramycin Inhalation Powder Information

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