Common Brand Name(s): Garamycin
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication can cause serious kidney problems and nerve damage, resulting in permanent hearing loss (including deafness or decreased hearing) and balance problems. The risk is increased if you are older, already have kidney disease, or if you have a severe loss of body water (dehydration). Your risk is also increased if you receive high doses, or with longer use of this medication.
Tell your doctor right away if you notice ringing/roaring sounds in the ears, hearing loss, dizziness, or an unusual decrease in the amount of your urine.
Careful monitoring by your doctor will reduce the risk of these side effects. Monitoring may include hearing, kidney, urine, and drug blood level tests.
Avoid other medications that may increase your risk for these serious side effects if taken together with gentamicin. See also Drug Interactions section.
This medication is used to prevent or treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Gentamicin belongs to a class of drugs known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
How To Use
This medication is given by injection into a vein or muscle as directed by your doctor, usually every 8 hours. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. Laboratory tests (such as kidney function, levels of drug in the blood) may be performed to help find the best dose for your condition.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
For the best effect, use this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, use this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Continue to use this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, or loss of appetite may occur. Pain/irritation/redness at the injection site may rarely occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- muscle twitching or weakness
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop:
- persistent diarrhea
- abdominal or stomach pain/cramping
- blood/mucus in your stool
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using gentamicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as tobramycin, amikacin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- cystic fibrosis
- hearing problems (including deafness, decreased hearing)
- kidney problems
- low blood minerals (including potassium, magnesium, calcium)
- myasthenia gravis
- Parkinson's disease
Gentamicin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially kidney damage.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Although there have been reports of harm in babies born to women using similar drugs, the risk for harm may not be the same with this drug. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk in small amounts. However, many doctors consider breastfeeding safe while using this medication. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
See also Warning section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Other medications that may affect the kidneys or hearing may increase the risk of kidney damage or hearing loss if taken with gentamicin. Some affected drugs include: amikacin, tobramycin, amphotericin B, cidofovir, cisplatin, polymyxin B, cephalosporins such as cephaloridine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, levels of drug in your blood) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised January 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.