Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a potentially life-threatening infection for patients with cystic fibrosis. To treat the infection, doctors often prescribe an inhaled drug called colistin (Coly-Mycin S Otic). However, use of this drug is controversial because some patients experience chest tightness and spasms of the bronchi, which causes severe coughing and reduced lung function. However a new research study has concluded that the controversial drug used to treat infections in cystic fibrosis patients is effective.
Researchers administered colistin and a placebo to 24 children between the ages of 5 and 18 to see if the subjects would experience negative side effects. After inhaling the colistin, children in the study experienced a reduction in lung function, especially high-risk patients with a family history of asthma or other lung difficulties. However, researchers were not able to confirm whether the placebo or the colistin caused the reduction in lung function.
In conclusion, researchers say inhalation of colistin results in a fair amount of spasms of the bronchi because the drug is administered as an aerosol. However, they say the spasms are controllable and should not deter the use of inhaled colistin when medically indicated.