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Streptomycin Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 30, 2022.

For the Consumer

Applies to streptomycin: intramuscular powder for solution


Intramuscular route (Powder for Solution)

The risk of severe neurotoxic reactions is sharply increased in patients with impaired renal function or prerenal azotemia. These include disturbances of vestibular and cochlear function, optic nerve dysfunction, peripheral neuritis, arachnoiditis, and encephalopathy may also occur. The incidence of clinically detectable, irreversible vestibular damage is particularly high in patients treated with streptomycin.Renal function should be monitored carefully; patients with renal impairment and/or nitrogen retention should receive reduced doses. The peak serum concentration in individuals with kidney damage should not exceed 20 to 25 mcg/mL.The concurrent or sequential use of other neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic drugs with streptomycin sulfate, including neomycin, kanamycin, gentamicin, cephaloridine, paromomycin, viomycin, polymyxin B, colistin, tobramycin and cyclosporine should be avoided.The neurotoxicity of streptomycin can result in respiratory paralysis from neuromuscular blockage, especially when the drug is given soon after the use of anesthesia or muscle relaxants.The administration of streptomycin in parenteral form should be reserved for patients where adequate laboratory and audiometric testing facilities are available during therapy.

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

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

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking streptomycin:

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clumsiness
  • cough
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • fever
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • nausea
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sensation of spinning
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • unsteadiness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting

Less common

  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • bleeding gums
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • change in vision
  • dark urine
  • deafness
  • difficulty with breathing
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dry mouth
  • fast heartbeat
  • general body swelling
  • headache
  • hives
  • impaired vision
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle weakness
  • nosebleeds
  • pain in lower back or side
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • skin rash
  • thirst
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin


  • Change in the frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • drowsiness
  • increased thirst
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • weakness

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of streptomycin 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:

More common

  • Hives or welts
  • redness of the skin

Less common

  • Impaired vision

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to streptomycin: compounding powder, intramuscular powder for injection

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Paresthesia of face, vertigo, vestibular ototoxicity

Frequency not reported: Vestibular dysfunction[Ref]

Vestibular ototoxicity included nausea, vomiting, and vertigo.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Angioneurotic edema, rash, urticaria

Frequency not reported: Exfoliative dermatitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Eosinophilia

Frequency not reported: Hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Azotemia, nephrotoxicity[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Amblyopia, hearing impairment[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fever

Frequency not reported: Cochlear ototoxicity, deafness[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Muscular weakness[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylaxis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Streptomycin (streptomycin)." Pfizer US Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY.

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.