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All about: Garamycin

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Generic Name: gentamicin (gen tah MY sin)
Brand Names: Garamycin

What is Garamycin (gentamicin)?

Gentamicin is an antibiotic. It fights bacteria in the body.

Gentamicin is used to treat severe or serious bacterial infections.

Gentamicin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Garamycin (gentamicin)?

If you are injecting gentamicin at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on how and where to inject the medication. If you do not understand these directions, do not attempt to inject the medication. Contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

Gentamicin may cause damage to the kidneys and/or nerves. Kidney function and drug levels in the blood may be monitored with blood tests during treatment. Tell your doctor if you experience hearing loss, dizziness, numbness, skin tingling, muscle twitching, or seizures which may be signs of nerve damage.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Garamycin (gentamicin)?

Do not use gentamicin without first talking to your doctor if you have
  • sulfite sensitivity;

  • kidney disease;
  • hearing loss or loss of balance due to ear problems;

  • Parkinson's disease; or

  • a neuromuscular disorder such as myasthenia gravis.

You may not be able to use gentamicin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not use gentamicin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Do not use gentamicin without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Garamycin (gentamicin)?

If you are injecting gentamicin at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on how and where to inject the medication. If you do not understand these directions, do not attempt to inject the medication. Contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

Do not use any gentamicin that is discolored, has particles in it, or looks different from your previous doses. Throw away any unused gentamicin after the amount of time determined by your pharmacist or doctor.

Adequate hydration is important during treatment with gentamicin. Fluids may be administered intravenously during treatment.

It is important that the medication be given on a regular schedule and for the entire amount of time prescribed by your doctor.

Gentamicin may cause damage to the kidneys and/or nerves. Kidney function and drug levels in the blood may be monitored with blood tests during treatment. Tell your doctor if you experience hearing loss, dizziness, numbness, skin tingling, muscle twitching, or seizures which may be signs of nerve damage.

Dispose of used needles and syringes in a puncture resistant container out of the reach of children.

Your healthcare provider will store gentamicin as directed by the manufacturer or give you detailed storage instructions if you are storing the medication at home.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if a dose is missed.

What happens if I overdose?

Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected. An overdose of the medication may result in damage to the kidneys or hearing loss, dizziness, numbness, skin tingling, muscle twitching, or seizures (which may be signs of nerve damage).

What should I avoid while taking Garamycin (gentamicin)?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking gentamicin unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Garamycin (gentamicin) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking gentamicin and seek emergency medical attention:
  • an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of the throat; hives; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; rash; or fainting);

  • little or no urine;

  • decreased hearing or ringing in the ears;

  • dizziness, clumsiness, or unsteadiness;

  • numbness, skin tingling, muscle twitching, or seizures; or

  • severe watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take gentamicin and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • increased thirst;

  • loss of appetite;

  • nausea or vomiting;

  • a rash.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Garamycin (gentamicin)?

Other drugs, especially those that affect the kidneys, can interact with gentamicin resulting in dangerous side effects and/or decreased effectiveness. Do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, without first talking to your doctor during treatment with gentamicin.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about gentamicin written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Gentamicin is available with a prescription generically and under the brand name Garamycin. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.05. Revision Date: 8/18/05 10:44:25 AM.

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