What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet. The original leaflet can be viewed using the link above.

The text only version may be available in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call emc accessibility on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL11184/0134.

Azactam 1g or 2g Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion, vial

Package leaflet: Information for the patient

Azactam™ 1g or 2g

Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion


Please read this leaflet carefully before you start taking your medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Please keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor.

This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.

What is in this leaflet:

1. What Azactam is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you are given your medicine
3. How you will be given your medicine
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store your medicine
6. Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Azactam is and what it is used for

The name of this medicine is Azactam. The active ingredient in Azactam is aztreonam.

Azactam is available in two strengths and each vial contains either 1g or 2g aztreonam as a powder for solution for injection or infusion. Aztreonam is an antibiotic and a member of the family of medicines called monobactams. Azactam also contains L-arginine.

Azactam is for the treatment of serious infections caused by bacteria which require an antibiotic injection.

2. What you need to know before you are given your medicine

Do not take Azactam if:

  • You are allergic to Aztreonam or L-arginine
  • You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor before taking Azactam if

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to any antibiotics
  • You have diarrhoea or usually get diarrhoea when you take antibiotics or have ever suffered from problems with your stomach or intestines. If you develop severe or prolonged or bloody diarrhoea during or after using Azactam tell your doctor as soon as possible since it may be necessary to interrupt the treatment.
  • You have any Liver problems
  • You have any Kidney problems
  • You are taking a medicine against blood clots (anticoagulants)
  • You have any blood disorders, e.g. severe reduction in blood cells which can cause weakness, bruising or make infections more likely (pancytopenia)
  • You have skin disorders, including serious illness with blistering of the skin (toxic epidermal necrolysis)
  • Positive results in a Coombs’ test (a test for some blood problems)
  • You have fits (convulsions or seizures)
  • You are taking an antibiotic or oral anticoagulants

You must tell your doctor if you experience encephalopathy (unexplained confusion, altered mental function, coma, seizure, or weakness).

Taking Azactam with other medicines

Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about other medicines you are taking, have recently taken or may take including those obtained without a prescription. Some medicines can have an effect on each other’s actions.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or may become pregnant or are breast feeding, you should speak to your doctor before being treated with Azactam.

Driving and using machinery

This medicine could affect your ability to drive and use machinery should encephalopathy occur (see section 2 and 4).

Azactam contains Aztreonam.

3. How you will be given your medicine


The adult dose range is 1 to 8g daily. This dose can be split equally over the day meaning you may be given between one to four doses a day. Maximum recommended dose is 8 g per day.


The usual daily dose in children older than one week is 30mg per kg of body weight given every 6 to 8 hours, but in severe infections in patients two years of age or older this will be increased to 50mg per kg of body weight.

Kidney and liver problems

If you have kidney or liver problems, you may receive a lower dose than usual.

If you are given more Azactam than you should

It is unlikely that you will receive more Azactam than you should as it will be administered by injection into a muscle or vein by a doctor, nurse or other suitably trained person. If this does happen you will be closely monitored.

You must tell your doctor if you experience unexplained confusion, altered mental function, coma, seizure, or weakness..

If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor.

4. Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Azactam can cause unwanted side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Tell your doctor immediately if you get any of the following symptoms:

  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat with difficulty in swallowing or breathing. These may be signs of an allergic reaction.
  • severe, persistent or bloody diarrhoea (which may be associated with stomach pain or fever). This is rare side effect which may occur after treatment with antibiotics and can be a sign of serious bowel inflammation.

Patients treated with Azactam have reported the following side effects:

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)

  • Increased levels of some chemicals in your blood (creatinine)

Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1000 people)):

  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Double vision
  • Bleeding of the stomach
  • Painful or swollen colon
  • Bad breath
  • Chest pain
  • High temperature
  • Weakness
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Thrush or other vaginal irritation
  • Fits
  • Headache
  • Wheezing
  • Breast tenderness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sneezing
  • Tingling/numbness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Blocked nose
  • Change in heart beat
  • Fall in blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Bleeding
  • Lengthening of the time it takes for a cut to stop bleeding
  • Spontaneous bruising
  • convulsion
  • Muscle pain
  • Painful or swollen liver
  • Feeling of general discomfort
  • Increase or decrease in the number of blood clotting cells
  • Increase or decrease in the number of white blood cells
  • Fall in the number of red blood cells
  • A false positive test for antibodies (Coombs test)

Other side effects where the frequencies are unknown include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Feeling and/or being sick
  • Looser and/or more frequent stools
  • Altered taste
  • Discomfort at the injection site
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • General aches and pains
  • Fever
  • Changes in the levels of some chemicals in your blood serum (creatinine, transaminase, alkaline phosphatase)
  • Skin irritation and flaking
  • Itchy rash
  • Flushing
  • Small red spots
  • Burning and blistering of the skin
  • Hives
  • Encephalopathy (confusion, altered mental function, coma, seizure, or weakness)
  • Serious life threatening allergic reaction
  • Difficulty breathing due to muscle spasms in the lung
  • Swelling of the skin
  • excessive bruising of the skin
  • Rash
  • swelling of the veins in the legs which may be related to a blood clot

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5. How to store your medicine

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

This medicine will be stored in the pharmacy at not more than 25°C and prepared in a special area before the doctor or nurse gives it to you. This product is for single use only.

The product should not be used after the expiry date shown on the vial label and on the carton.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Azactam contains

The active substance is aztreonam. The other ingredients are: L-arginine (780mg per g of aztreonam).

What Azactam looks like and the contents of the pack

Azactam comes in clear glass vials, closed with siliconed grey butyl rubber closure, sealed with aluminium seal with plastic flip off button, in packs of 1 x 15 mL.

Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer

Marketing Authorisation Holder


Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Limited
Uxbridge Business Park
Sanderson Road
Tel.: 0800 7311736


Loc. Fontana del Ceraso snc
Strada Provinciale 12 Casilina, 41
03012 ANAGNI (FR)

Swords Laboratories T/A Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Operations, External Manufacturing
Plaza 254
Blanchardstown Corporate Park 2
Dublin 15
D15 T867

Date of last revision: March 2020