Tobi (Tobramycin Inhalation Solution) Overview

Tobi is an inhaled version of the antibiotic tobramycin that was created specifically for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in people with cystic fibrosis. Tobi reduces the amount of bacteria in the lungs, which can improve lung function and prevent long hospital stays.

Girl using a nebulizer

Who Tobi Is For

People over 6 years old with cystic fibrosis who have P. aeruginosa in their lungs.

Who Shouldn't Take Tobi

People who are allergic to tobramycin or other antibiotics in the same family (aminoglycosides).

How to Take It

Tobi is inhaled into the lungs using a machine called a nebulizer. It is usually taken every 12 hours. To prevent developing resistance, Tobi should be taken in cycles of 28 days on the medication followed by 28 days off.


Tobi should be stored in the refrigerator whenever possible. If refrigeration is not available, Tobi can be stored in a dark place at room temperature up to 77 degrees. Tobi should never be exposed to extreme heat or intense light. If the solution contains particles or appears cloudy, it should be discarded.

Side Effects

Some common side effects of Tobi include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Hoarseness or change in voice

Safety Warnings

Some people who take Tobi have reported hearing loss, which may be permanent if it occurs. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you have:

  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Reduced hearing

Tobi can also cause bronchospasm, a condition that restricts the ability to breathe. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you have:

  • Increased coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

Before taking Tobi, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are allergic to Tobi or other aminoglycoside antibitotics such as streptomycin, amikacin, kanamycin, neomycin, or gentamicin
  • Are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have kidney or liver disease

Financial Assistance

A 28-day supply of Tobi is expensive, but it is covered by most insurance plans. If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover Tobi, Novartis has an assistance program that may be able to help if you meet the criteria.

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  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Tobi Prescribing Information. December 2007.

  • People with severely decreased lung function (FEV1 <25%)

By Lori Alma
Lori Alma, RN, is a registered nurse and cystic fibrosis expert who assists families in a Florida Department of Health program for special needs children.