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Nebulised Colomycin in cystic fibrosis

Nebulisers are used to convert liquid medicines into fine droplets which can be breathed directly into the lungs. Your child has been prescribed Colomycin.

Colomycin is an antibiotic (Colistin) and by nebulising it, the medicine gets directly into the lungs to target where bacteria are growing.

How to prepare the Colomycin

Children under the age of 10 use 1 million unit (MU) yellow label.

Children over the age of 10 use 2 million units (MU) which is the purple label.

Instructions for taking Colomycin

You should give Colomycin to your child immediately after mixing to minimise the risk of contamination. It should be taken after physiotherapy whenever possible. Colomycin should be taken 2 times a day and there should be at least 6 hours between each dose.

  1. Wash and dry your hands and assemble all necessary equipment.
  2. Gently tap the vial on a hard surface to loosen the powder inside.
  3. Flip up the plastic cap from the Colomycin vial. This can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it.
  4. Remove foil seal by carefully ripping it away from the side of the vial. This should all come off in a single piece. Be careful as it can be sharp.
  5. Remove the coloured bung from the vial.
  6. Twist the plastic cap off the 5ml sodium chloride ampoule and measure out 3ml into the syringe then add to the Colomycin vial.
  7. Replace the bung and swirl gently to mix. Avoid shaking the vial as this can cause excessive frothing.
  8. Remove the bung again and pour the contents of the colomycin vial into the pot of the nebuliser, turn the compressor on and use your nebuliser as directed.

When the Colomycin powder is mixed with the saline it is normal for the mixture to look hazy. It may also be frothy, especially if shaken.

You will be given a nebuliser unit and shown how to use this and how to clean it.

It is important that you wash your hands before setting up the nebuliser.

The nebuliser must be cleaned after each use and you will be shown how to do this.

The nebuliser provided must be serviced every year so please make sure you contact the team if you notice your nebuliser is due for service.

Side effects

When starting Colomycin a dose will be given at the hospital so that we can check there are no problems. Please read the information leaflet provided with the Colomycin and if there are any side effects stop taking the medication and contact the hospital.

Your treatment plan for taking Colomycin


The type of nebuliser you have been provided is:

Contact us

If you have any questions of concerns please call 0114 271 7273 or 0114 271 7375.

You must always discuss the individual treatment of your child with the appropriate member of staff. Do not rely on this resource alone for information about your child’s treatment.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: CF15

Resource Type: Article

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