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Being Alive
MEDICAL UPDATE: Aerosolized Pentamidine Reconsidered
Mark Katz, MD and reported by Jim Stoecker
April 5, 1993
Being Alive 1993 Apr 5: 17

As regular readers of this medical update know, we have long held that Bactrim/Septra is superior to aerosolized pentamidine for PCP prophylaxis. A number of studies have shown this superiority. Now we have word from a few sources asking us to reconsider.

Respiratory therapists suggest that the breathing technique used to administer pentamidine is crucial. Too often, patients are left alone during their therapy, and they fail to use the proper technique. This, some suggest, contributes to aerosolized pentamidine's lack of efficacy.

Some doctors are reporting high rates of success when aerosolized pentamidine is used twice a month. Right now, all the studies showing the superiority of Bactrim/Septra have compared their use to aerosolized pentamidine administered once a month. Perhaps frequency of therapy is a factor to be considered.