Inhaled Antibiotic for CF

Cayston (aztreonam for inhalation solution) is a new inhaled antibiotic for the treatment of CF, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2010. It is the first new inhaled antibiotic developed for CF in more than a decade.

Cayston is used to improve respiratory symptoms in people with CF who have Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Is Cayston right for you? Here is information that will prepare you for talking to your CF care center team to see if you or your child should add Cayston to your regular CF treatment regimen.

What is Cayston®?

Cayston is a new inhaled antibiotic for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. It is the first new inhaled antibiotic developed for CF in more than a decade.

It’s used to improve respiratory symptoms in people with CF who have Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Cayston is inhaled using a new device called the Altera® Nebulizer System. Using this system, the medicine is nebulized in less than five minutes.

Cayston was developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) February 22, 2010.

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Is Cayston the same as AZLI?

Yes. Cayston is the drug’s trademarked name. Before FDA approval, it was known as AZLI, or aztreonam for inhalation solution, which is the generic drug name.

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Should I or my child be taking Cayston?

Cayston is used to improve respiratory symptoms in people with CF who have Pseudomonas. Only your CF doctor and healthcare team can help you to know if you or your child should be taking Cayston. Learn more patient information on Cayston's Web site.

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Can I or my child take Cayston with my other medicines?

Consult your CF doctor and care team about Cayston and how it may fit into your overall treatment regimen.

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How can I obtain Cayston?

While you cannot get your Cayston prescription filled at your local pharmacy, it is available at select specialty pharmacies.

You can learn more about how to obtain Cayston at the Cayston website or call 1-877-7CAYSTON (1-877-722-9786).

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When I start Cayston, can I stop my other antibiotics?

Cayston is one inhaled antibiotic to help fight infections caused by pseudomonas. Ask your CF doctor if you need to stop any medicine when you start taking Cayston.

Before stopping any medication, you should always talk with your doctor.

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Are there medicines that should be taken before Cayston?

Before taking Cayston, you should do some of your inhaled therapies. These include your bronchodilator (e.g., albuterol) and your mucolytics (e.g., Dornase Alfa, hypertonic saline). If you have questions about Cayston or how to take it, talk with your CF healthcare team.

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Can I use the Cayston Altera® Nebulizer System for other inhaled antibiotics?

The Altera nebulizer is only approved for use with Cayston. You should use the right nebulizer with the right drug. Using a different nebulizer could cause you to get too much or too little of the medicine.

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How do I clean and disinfect my Altera Nebulizer?

Remember, clean, disinfect and air-dry all equipment used for inhaled medications after each use. Watch this short video below to learn how to properly clean and disinfect your Altera Nebulizer System Handset.

You can disinfect the equipment using an electronic baby bottle steam sterilizer (e.g., Nuk Quick N Ready Steam Sterilizer) according to the sterilizer instructions. Do NOT use a MICROWAVE steam sterilizer with the Altera handset!

If after watching the video, you are unsure or have questions about how to take Cayston or to use, clean and disinfect the Altera® Nebulizer Handset, call your CF center.

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What if I cannot afford Cayston or don’t have insurance?

If you have insurance problems or cannot afford Cayston, you may find support through the Cayston Access Program. You can call 1-877-7CAYSTON (1-877-722-9786) or go to the Cayston website to learn how to get it.

You may also want to contact the CF Foundation’s Patient Assistance Resource Center (PARC) provides a variety of resources to help people with CF and their families manage their current health insurance coverage or find coverage to help them obtain essential drugs and treatments. For more information, contact the PARC at 1-888-315-4154 or email

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What was the CF Foundation’s role in developing Cayston?

Cayston, developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc., is the first CF drug to advance — from beginning to end — through the Foundation’s Therapeutics Development Program.

The Foundation supported Cayston at each stage of development, from providing an initial $1 million therapeutics development award through a nonprofit subsidiary of the Foundation, to making its clinical trials network available to test the drug in patients, to explaining the scientific benefits to the FDA.

The CF Foundation’s Therapeutics Development Program, used to support Cayston, is one way the CF Foundation is working to find new treatments and get them to people with CF faster.

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Learn More About Chronic Medications for CF Lung Health

You can learn more about chronic medications for CF lung health, including Cayston, on the CF Foundation’s website:

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Updated: 7/24/2014