Generic Name: gentamicin (jen-ta-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Garamycin
Gentamicin solution has caused kidney problems, nerve damage or permanent hearing loss, even at usual doses. Hearing loss can occur even after the medicine is stopped. If you already have kidney problems or hearing difficulty, tell your doctor. Notify your doctor immediately if any of the following occur: ringing in ears, hearing loss, unusual change in amount of urine, dizziness, numbness, skin tingling, muscle twitching, or seizures. Gentamicin solution may be stopped if you develop kidney or hearing problems. Your doctor will monitor your progress to minimize the possibility of these effects occurring and to run certain tests (eg, hearing and/or kidney tests). Do not use gentamicin solution with other medicines that can cause nerve, kidney, or hearing problems. Other factors that increase the risk of these side effects occurring include advanced age or dehydration.
Gentamicin solution is used for:
Treating serious infections caused by certain bacteria.
Gentamicin solution is an aminoglycoside antibiotic. It works by slowing the growth of, or killing, sensitive bacteria.
Do NOT use gentamicin solution if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in gentamicin solution or another aminoglycoside antibiotic (eg, tobramycin)
- you are taking fludarabine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen), or nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, atracurium)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using gentamicin solution:
Some medical conditions may interact with gentamicin solution. 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 have myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become progressively paralyzed) or Parkinson disease
- if you have dehydration, hearing problems, kidney failure, or you are a child younger than 9 years of age with diarrhea, or a stomach or intestinal infection
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with gentamicin solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Polypeptide antibiotics (eg, polymyxin B) because breathing may stop and kidney damage may occur
- Cephalosporins, cyclosporine, fludarabine, loop diuretics (eg, furosemide), methoxyflurane, nitrosoureas (eg, carmustine), NSAIDs (eg, ibuprofen), or vancomycin because the risk of gentamicin solution's side effects, including kidney damage or hearing loss, may be increased
- Nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, atracurium) or succinylcholine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by gentamicin solution
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if gentamicin solution 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 gentamicin solution:
Use gentamicin solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Gentamicin solution is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using gentamicin solution at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use gentamicin solution. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use gentamicin solution if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are using gentamicin solution is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- Do not mix gentamicin solution with cephalosporins (eg, cephalothin) or penicillins (eg, penicillin), as it may inactivate gentamicin solution. Administer separately.
- If you miss a dose of gentamicin solution, use it as soon as possible. Check with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse for instructions on scheduling other doses.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use gentamicin solution.
Important safety information:
- Gentamicin solution only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
- Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
- Be sure to use gentamicin solution for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of gentamicin solution may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
- Some of these products contain sulfites. Sulfites may cause an allergic reaction in some patients (eg, asthma patients). If you have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, ask your pharmacist if your product has sulfites in it.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take gentamicin solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including kidney function, may be performed while you use gentamicin solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use gentamicin solution with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially kidney or hearing problems.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Gentamicin solution has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using gentamicin solution while you are pregnant. Gentamicin solution is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking gentamicin solution.
Possible side effects of gentamicin solution:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. 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); clumsiness; decreased urination; dizziness or lightheadedness; feeling of a whirling motion; hearing loss; itching; muscle weakness; numbness or tingling; ringing or roaring in the ears; seizures; 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.Proper storage of gentamicin solution:
Gentamicin solution is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using gentamicin solution at home, store gentamicin solution as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep gentamicin solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about gentamicin solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Gentamicin solution 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 gentamicin solution 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 gentamicin solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to gentamicin solution. 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 gentamicin solution.
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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- Drug class: aminoglycosides
Other brands: Garamycin