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Streptomycin

Generic Name: streptomycin (STREP toe MYE sin)
Brand Name:

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 24, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is streptomycin?

Streptomycin is an antibiotic that is used to treat moderate to severe tuberculosis, pneumonia, E. coli, influenza, plague and other infections caused by certain bacteria.

Streptomycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Streptomycin may cause nerve damage or hearing loss, especially if you have kidney disease or use certain other medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you have severe dizziness, hearing problems, vision problems, balance problems, trouble concentrating, muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling.

Diarrhea may be a sign of a new infection. Call your doctor if you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with streptomycin if you are allergic to streptomycin or similar antibiotics, such as:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • hearing problems;

  • kidney disease; or

  • HIV or AIDS.

Streptomycin may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using streptomycin.

How is streptomycin given?

Streptomycin is injected into a muscle. A healthcare provider can teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

You may be given other medications to help treat your infection. If you use streptomycin long term, you may be given medicine to make your urine less acidic. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

How often you receive streptomycin and for how long will depend on the infection being treated.

Some infections may need to be treated with streptomycin for several weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Streptomycin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

You will need frequent medical tests to check your hearing and kidney function.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving streptomycin?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.

Streptomycin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • headache, nausea, vomiting;

  • severe dizziness, spinning sensation, balance problems;

  • hearing loss, a feeling of fullness in your ears, a ringing or roaring sound in your ears (during or after treatment with streptomycin);

  • vision problems, eye pain;

  • problems with memory or concentration, changes in personality or behavior;

  • muscle weakness, weak or shallow breathing;

  • tremors, muscle twitching, seizure;

  • pain, numbness, tingly feeling;

  • pale or yellowed skin, easy bruising; or

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody (even if it occurs months after your last dose).

If a young infant is receiving streptomycin, tell the doctor at once if the child has severe drowsiness, breathing problems, or severe muscle weakness.

Your streptomycin doses may be delayed or permanently discontinued if you have certain side effects.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, and dizziness;

  • diarrhea;

  • numbness, tingling, or swelling in your face;

  • fever;

  • rash; or

  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect streptomycin?

Streptomycin can harm your nerves and kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, osteoporosis, organ transplant rejection, bowel disorders, or pain or arthritis (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially a diuretic or "water pill."

Other drugs may affect streptomycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.