Important Safety Information
Gentamicin is an infusion medication known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. It is used to treat pediatric and adult patients with serious bacterial infections, such as meningitis. It is also used to treat infections in the blood, skin, bones, joints, urinary tract, and major organs.
Prior to starting treatment, talk to your doctor if you are allergic to any aminoglycoside antibiotics, including kanamycin, neomycin, paromomycin, amikacin, streptomycin, or tobramycin. Also, tell your medical provider of all medications you’re currently taking — including prescription, over-the-counter, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
There are certain underlying medical conditions that may affect your ability to be treated with Gentamicin. Tell your doctor if you have a history of cystic fibrosis, myasthenia gravis, or Parkinson’s disease. In addition, if you have plans to undergo any surgical procedure — including dental surgery — let the surgeon know you are receiving treatment with Gentamicin.
What is the most important information I should know about Gentamicin?
Gentamicin may cause serious kidney problems — especially in older patients, as well as in those who are dehydrated. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience weakness, decreased urination, or swelling of the face, arms, hands, legs, ankles, and/or feet.
Older patients are also at risk of developing hearing problems — and, in some cases, it may be permanent. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, or hearing loss.
The risk of developing a kidney condition or hearing loss is increased in individuals who are taking certain medications. These include Zovirax, Sitavig, Abelcet, Ambisome, Amhotec, Capastat, Ancef, Kefzol, Suprax, Keflex, Coly-Mycin S, Gengrag, Restasis, Sandimmune, Neoral, Edecrin, Lasix, Demadex, Vanocin, Neo-Fradin, diuretics, and certain antibiotics.
Gentamicin may also harm a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or there’s a possibility that you may be pregnant. The medication can also be passed on to your baby through breast milk. Therefore, talk with your doctor about options if you’re breastfeeding or planning on doing so.
Gentamicin is not approved for treating patients with dementia-related psychosis. Doing so would place such patients at an increased risk of death.
Side Effects of Gentamicin
As with any prescription medication, Gentamicin carries the risk of side effects. The most common ones include:
- Pain at the site where the IV is inserted
- Joint pain
- Decreased appetite
In rare cases, a patient may experience a life threatening-allergic reaction. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Skin rash
- Breathing difficulties
- Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, and/or eyes
- Peeling or blistering of the skin
- Voice hoarseness
Tell your doctor if you experience any negative side effects. You are also encouraged to report such side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch, or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Gentamicin is used to treat or prevent serious bacterial infections. Dosage considerations vary depending on the age of the patient and susceptible infections. Extended dosing intervals may be necessary depending on the patient’s body weight. Always consult with a pharmacist for subsequent doses.
Please refer to the full prescribing information.