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Paromomycin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to paromomycin: oral capsule

Along with its needed effects, paromomycin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Some side effects of paromomycin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence Not Known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to paromomycin: oral capsule


Gastrointestinal side effects of paromomycin 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 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 during a clinical study.[Ref]


Local side effects have included injection site pain and swelling in patients receiving intramuscular paromomycin during a clinical study.[Ref]


Other side effects have included pyrexia in patients receiving intramuscular paromomycin 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. 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

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

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

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

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.