Kanamycin Side Effects

Not all side effects for kanamycin may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to kanamycin: oral capsule

Other dosage forms:

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by kanamycin. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking kanamycin:

Rare - with long-term use and high doses
  • Any loss of hearing
  • clumsiness
  • dizziness
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • increased thirst
  • ringing or buzzing or a feeling of fullness in the ears
  • unsteadiness

Some of the side effects that can occur with kanamycin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
Rare - with prolonged treatment
  • Increased amount of gas
  • light-colored, frothy, fatty-appearing stools

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to kanamycin: compounding powder, injectable solution, oral capsule

General

The major toxic effects associated with kanamycin therapy are ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity. It is considered one of the more toxic aminoglycosides.

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included neuromuscular blockade, ototoxicity resulting in loss of vestibular function secondary to hair cell damage, and irreversible or partially reversible bilateral hearing loss. Nystagmus, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and acute Meniere's syndrome are signs of vestibular dysfunction. Cochlear damage may be asymptomatic and may initially manifest as minor changes in audiometric test results at higher frequencies. Aminoglycosides have been associated with acute muscular paralysis, apnea, peripheral neuropathy and encephalopathy (numbness, paresthesia, muscle twitching, seizures), and myasthenia gravis-like syndrome. Neurotoxicity may occur after intrapleural, intraperitoneal, or parenteral administration. Patients with renal impairment may be at a higher risk.

Renal

Renal side effects have included nephrotoxicity, albuminuria, presence of red and white cells and granular casts, azotemia, oliguria, and increased serum creatinine and BUN.

Dermatologic

Dermatologic reactions have included skin rash.

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Local

Local reactions have included pain at the injection site after intramuscular injection.

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects associated with prolonged kanamycin treatment have included malabsorption syndrome manifested as increased fecal fat, decreased serum carotene, and decreased xylose absorption.

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