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Pseudomonas Aeruginosa & Cystic Fibrosis: Learn the Facts

Wed, 12/30/2015 - 10:00 -- IV Solutions

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that can cause infections in many parts of the body. It survives in most environments and is very resistant to antibiotics. Infections caused by P. aeruginosa can be life-threatening, but all have the potential to be treated.

While P. aeruginosa rarely makes healthy people sick, it is an opportunistic pathogen. This means it can be dangerous for people with a weakened immune response. If you catch an infection while in a hospital, it will most likely bePseudomonas aeruginosa.

If Pseudomonas aeruginosa gets into the lungs, the infection can cause increased breathing difficulty, a lack of oxygen, and pneumonia. For people with cystic fibrosis, it can also cause malnutrition, a bulging chest, and clubbing. Clubbing is when the fingernails and tips of the fingers take on a rounded appearance.

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Cystic Fibrosis

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the biggest problems for people with cystic fibrosis as they get older. In lungs affected by CF, there is a build-up of thick mucus. In that environment, P. aeruginosa can grow out of control, causing infections that can last many weeks or even years. Left untreated, these infections cause permanent damage to the lungs.

Because it is such a common bacteria, most people with CF will have to deal with P. aeruginosa from time to time. As long as it is caught early and treated, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can usually be managed or eliminated.

During a long-lasting infection, P. aeruginosa can mutate. The risk of passing on resistant forms ofPseudomonas aeruginosa is one reason people with cystic fibrosis have to be so careful around each other.

Treating Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

There are many medications that treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Because the bacteria adapts so easily, it is more important than ever that you follow your doctor’s instructions and take the full course of your medicine.

Approved by the FDA in 2010, Cayston® was developed specifically for people with CF who are suffering from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Cayston® is inhaled using the Altera® nebulizer system, delivering the medication directly to the lungs, where it is most needed. It works by destroying the cell wall of the bacteria. 

For prescribing and safety information please refer below:

  • Please click here for Full Prescribing Information on Cayston®
  • Please click here to view Important Safety Information about Cayston®

Cayston®, the Cayston® logo, and Gilead are registered trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc.


Lessnau K. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infections. Medscape. April 28, 2014. Accessed March 10, 2015.

Kulasekara H. Cystic Fibrosis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Samuel Miller Lab. Accessed March 10, 2015.

Cayston. Gilead. Accessed March 10, 2015.