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Humatin Side Effects

Generic Name: paromomycin

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of paromomycin. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Humatin.

For the Consumer

Applies to paromomycin: oral capsule

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by paromomycin (the active ingredient contained in Humatin). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with paromomycin 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:

Incidence not known:
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • nausea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to paromomycin: oral capsule


Gastrointestinal side effects of paromomycin (the active ingredient contained in Humatin) have commonly included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort, especially with doses greater than 3 g per day. Malabsorption of xylose and sucrose has been reported. A case of pancreatitis in an AIDS patient has been attributed to paromomycin.[Ref]

A patient with AIDS developed pancreatitis after five days of therapy with paromomycin for cryptosporidiosis. Serum amylase declined progressively after paromomycin was discontinued, but became elevated after reinstitution of therapy.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have rarely included ototoxicity and sensorineural damage, usually in patients who also had hepatic disease. Rarely, patients may also experience headache or vertigo.[Ref]


Nephrotoxicity is a consideration with the use of any aminoglycoside, however, paromomycin (the active ingredient contained in Humatin) is poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Accumulation of paromomycin may be problematic in patients with impaired renal function and patients treated with multiple or prolonged courses of therapy.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included transient elevated aspartate transaminase (greater than 3 times ULN) and alanine transaminase (greater than 3 times ULN) in patients receiving intramuscular paromomycin (the active ingredient contained in Humatin) during a clinical study.[Ref]


Local side effects have included injection site pain and swelling in patients receiving intramuscular paromomycin (the active ingredient contained in Humatin) during a clinical study.[Ref]


Other side effects have included pyrexia in patients receiving intramuscular paromomycin (the active ingredient contained in Humatin) during a clinical study.[Ref]


1. Keusch GT, Troncale FJ, Buchanan RD "Malabsorption due to paromomycin." Arch Intern Med 125 (1970): 273-6

2. "Product Information. Humatin (paromomycin)." Parke-Davis, Morris Plains, NJ.

3. Tan WW, Chapnick EK, Abter EIM, Haddad S, Zimbalist EH, Lutwick LI "Paromomycin-associated pancreatitis HIV-related cryptosporidiosis." Ann Pharmacother 29 (1995): 22-4

4. Sundar S, Jha TK, Thakur CP, Sinha PK, Bhattacharya SK "Injectable paromomycin for Visceral leishmaniasis in India." N Engl J Med 356 (2007): 2571-81

5. Sullam PM, Slutkin G, Gottlieb AB, Mills J "Paromomycin therapy of endemic amebiasis in homosexual men." Sex Transm Dis 13 (1986): 151-5

6. Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program "Drug-induced deafness." JAMA 224 (1973): 515-6

7. Berk DP, Chalmers T "Deafness complicating antibiotic therapy of hepatic encephalopathy." Ann Intern Med 73 (1970): 393-6

8. Kunin CM "Nephrotoxicity of antibiotics." JAMA 202 (1967): 204-8

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

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