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Kanamycin

Generic Name: kanamycin (kan-uh-MY-sin)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Kanamycin can cause severe damage to the kidneys and can also cause hearing loss. You will need to be closely monitored by your health care provider. Be sure your doctor is aware of any other medications you may be taking.


Kanamycin is used for:

Treating serious bacterial infections. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Kanamycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic. It kills sensitive bacteria by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Do NOT use kanamycin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in kanamycin
  • you need long-term treatment
  • you are taking cyclosporine, fludarabine, an injectable cephalosporin, an injectable penicillin in the same intravenous (IV) line, methoxyflurane (within 3 days), a nondepolarizing muscle relaxant (eg, pancuronium), or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (eg, ibuprofen)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using kanamycin:

Some medical conditions may interact with kanamycin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are dehydrated or have cranial nerve damage, myasthenia gravis (eg, muscle weakness), Parkinson disease, or kidney failure

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with kanamycin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Injectable penicillins (eg, amoxicillin) because the effectiveness of kanamycin may be decreased when mixed in the same container or when given at the same time
  • Injectable cephalosporins (eg, cephalexin), cyclosporine, fludarabine, methoxyflurane, or NSAIDs (eg, ibuprofen) because side effects, such as increased risk of kidney toxicity, may occur
  • Loop diuretics (eg, furosemide) because side effects, such as hearing loss, may occur
  • Nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, pancuronium) or succinylcholine because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Digoxin because the effectiveness may be affected

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if kanamycin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use kanamycin:

Use kanamycin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Kanamycin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using kanamycin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • To clear up your infection completely, continue using kanamycin for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days. Do not miss any doses.
  • If kanamycin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Kanamycin works best when it is used at the same time each day.
  • Kanamycin is for short-term treatment only.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of kanamycin, use it as soon as possible. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for instructions on scheduling other doses.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use kanamycin.

Important safety information:

  • Kanamycin may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to kanamycin. Using kanamycin alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Kanamycin is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Some of these products contain sulfites, which can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals (eg, asthma patients). If you have previously had allergic reactions to sulfites, contact your pharmacist to determine if the product you are taking contains sulfites.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are using kanamycin is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using kanamycin.
  • LAB TESTS, including kidney function, will be required to monitor therapy. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use kanamycin with extreme caution in INFANTS. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed. Use kanamycin with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years of age with diarrhea or stomach infections. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Kanamycin has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using kanamycin during pregnancy. Kanamycin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking kanamycin.

Possible side effects of kanamycin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; nausea; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); decreased urination; dizziness; hearing loss; increased or difficult urination; lightheadedness; loss of hearing; muscle weakness; numbness or tingling; ringing or roaring in the ears; vaginal irritation or discharge.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include severe kidney problems; severe trouble breathing.

Proper storage of kanamycin:

Store kanamycin at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Keep kanamycin, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about kanamycin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Kanamycin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take kanamycin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about kanamycin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to kanamycin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using kanamycin.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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