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TOBI VS Cayston Pseudomonas aeruginosa treatments

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 14:00 -- IV Solutions

TOBI and Cayston are antibiotics used to treat infection in people with cystic fibrosis. Because these important medications are so similar, we’ll take a look at what they are and how they’re different. Speak with your doctor about which one is right for you and your specific needs. Some people alternate between using TOBI and Cayston so the bacteria does not develop immunity to treatment.

About Cystic Fibrosis 

Cystic fibrosis changes the way the body produces mucus, which causes problems with breathing and digestion. People with CF are at greater risk for lung infections. The bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa doesn’t make most people sick, but it can be dangerous for people with CF. TOBI and Cayston are both antibiotics used to treat P. aeruginosa infections.

About TOBI

Approved for the treatment of cystic fibrosis in 1997, TOBI is the inhaled version of the antibiotic Tobramycin. TOBI works by preventing P. aeruginosa bacteria from creating protein, which kills the bacteria cell. This improves lung function and the overall health of the person. Studies show that people treating P. aeruginosa infection with TOBI spent less time in the hospital.

TOBI should be kept out of intense light and stored in the refrigerator, but it can stay at room temperature for 28 days before use.

TOBI is intended to be used with the PARI LC PLUS nebulizer connected to a DeVilbiss Pulmo-Aide compressor. You take TOBI twice a day for 28 days, then stop taking TOBI for 28 days. This cycle continues, with 28 days on the medication and 28 days off. Each breathing treatment typically lasts from 15 to 20 minutes.

About Cayston

Cayston was created specifically to treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in people with CF. The antibiotic works by destroying the cell wall of the bacteria. Approved by the FDA in 2010, this medication is effective in treating P. aeruginosa infection and improving lung function. People with CF who use Cayston spend less time in the hospital and have fewer respiratory events.

Cayston should be kept in the refrigerator, away from the light. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 28 days.

People take Cayston three times a day, and each treatment lasts less than five minutes using the Altera Nebulizer System. Like TOBI, the antibiotic is taken in 28-day cycles, with 28 days of treatment followed by a 28-day break.

Main differences between TOBI & Cayston

  • TOBI and Cayston are both taken in 28-day cycles, but the breathing treatments are different. TOBI is taken twice a day in 15 to 20 minute treatments, while Cayston is taken three times a day in treatments lasting less than 5 minutes.
  • The antibiotics work differently. TOBI prevents the bacteria from creating protein, and Cayston destroys the cell wall of the bacteria.
  • A person that experiences side effects with one of the medications might not with the other, so it is worth looking at your options

Both TOBI and Cayston are effective in treating P. aeruginosa infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Speak with your doctor about which one is right for you.

Want to keep exploring? We have more information at IV Solutions about Pseudomonas aeruginosa and cystic fibrosis treatment.


Aztreonam for Inhalation Solution vs Tobramycin Inhalation Solution in Patients With Cystic Fibrosis & Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Accessed April 28, 2015.

Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmozyme® (dornase alfa), TOBI® (tobramycin), and Cayston® (aztreonam) Inhalation Solutions. OptumRx. Accessed April 28, 2015.

Tobramycin (TOBI). Accessed April 28, 2015.

TOBI (Tobraymycin). Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Accessed April 28, 2015.

Aztreonam (Cayston). Accessed April 28, 2015.

Cayston (Aztreonam). Gilead. Accessed April 28, 2015.