Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Garamycin

Descriptions


Gentamicin injection is used to treat serious bacterial infections in many different parts of the body.

Gentamicin belongs to the class of medicines known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

Gentamicin injection is usually used for serious bacterial infections for which other medicines may not work. However, it may also cause some serious side effects, including damage to your kidneys and the part of your body that controls hearing. These side effects may be more likely to occur in elderly patients and newborn infants. You and your doctor should talk about the benefit of this medicine as well as the risks.

This medicine is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Solution
  • Injectable

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of gentamicin injection in children. However, this medicine should be used with caution in premature and newborn infants.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of gentamicin injection in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients are more likely to have kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving gentamicin injection.

Pregnancy

Information about this gentamicin-injection-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alcuronium
  • Atracurium
  • Cidofovir
  • Cisatracurium
  • Colistimethate Sodium
  • Decamethonium
  • Doxacurium
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Fazadinium
  • Furosemide
  • Gallamine
  • Hexafluorenium
  • Lysine
  • Metocurine
  • Mivacurium
  • Pancuronium
  • Pipecuronium
  • Rapacuronium
  • Rocuronium
  • Succinylcholine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tubocurarine
  • Vancomycin
  • Vecuronium

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Indomethacin
  • Methoxyflurane
  • Polygeline

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma or
  • Sulfite allergy, history of—This medicine contains sodium metabisulfite which may cause an allergic reaction in patients with these conditions.
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood) or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)—Should be corrected before receiving this medicine. If these conditions are not corrected, this medicine may increase risk for more serious side effects.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of this medicine from the body.
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Muscle problems or
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness) or
  • Nerve problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle or into a vein.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better after a few days. Also, this medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, you must receive this medicine on a regular schedule.

To keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems, drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you or your child are receiving this medicine.

Precautions

Your doctor will check your progress closely while you or your child are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you or your child should continue to receive it. Blood, urine, hearing, and nerve tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

If your or your child's symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have itching; hives; hoarseness; shortness of breath; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive this medicine.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have sudden decrease in hearing or loss of hearing, which may be accompanied by dizziness and ringing in the ears. Tell your doctor if you or your child have dizziness or lightheadedness; feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings; or sensation of spinning. These may be symptoms of a damage to your hearing or sense of balance.

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have blood in the urine, change in frequency of urination or amount of urine, difficulty with breathing, drowsiness, increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, swelling of feet or lower legs, or weakness. These may be symptoms of a serious kidney problem (e.g., Fanconi-like syndrome).

This medicine may cause nerve problems. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have numbness, skin tingling, muscle twitching, or convulsions.

Make sure your doctor knows that you are using this medicine before having a surgery or other procedures that require you to receive a numbing medicine (e.g., anesthetics, neuromuscular blocking agents). Using gentamicin injection together with numbing medicines may increase your risk of having difficulty in breathing, drowsiness, inability to breath without assistance, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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:

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  2. agitation
  3. back pain
  4. black, tarry stools
  5. blood in the urine
  6. blurred or double vision
  7. burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
  8. change in frequency of urination or amount of urine
  9. chest pain
  10. chills
  11. coma
  12. confusion
  13. continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  14. cough
  15. difficult or troubled breathing
  16. difficulty with swallowing
  17. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  18. drowsiness
  19. dry mouth
  20. eye pain
  21. fast heartbeat
  22. fever with or without chills
  23. hallucinations
  24. headache
  25. hearing loss
  26. hives
  27. hoarseness
  28. increased thirst
  29. irregular heartbeats
  30. irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  31. irritability
  32. itching
  33. joint pain
  34. loss of appetite
  35. mood or mental changes
  36. muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  37. muscle pain or weakness
  38. muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
  39. nausea or vomiting
  40. nervousness
  41. numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
  42. pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  43. pale skin
  44. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  45. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  46. right upper abdominal or stomach pain and fullness
  47. seizures
  48. sensation of spinning
  49. skin rash
  50. slow or fast heartbeat
  51. slow or irregular breathing
  52. sore throat
  53. sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  54. stiff neck
  55. sweating
  56. swelling of the feet or lower legs
  57. swollen glands
  58. tightness in the chest
  59. trembling
  60. unusual bleeding or bruising
  61. unusual tiredness or weakness
  62. weight chest discomfort
  63. weight loss
  64. wheezing

Some side effects 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

  1. Blurred or loss of vision
  2. decreased appetite
  3. depression
  4. disturbed color perception
  5. hair loss or thinning of the hair
  6. halos around lights
  7. hives or welts
  8. increased salivation
  9. night blindness
  10. overbright appearance of lights
  11. pain at the injection site
  12. purple spots on the skin
  13. redness of the skin
  14. swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  15. tunnel vision
  16. unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.