gentamicin topical (generic name)

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial skin infections
(jen ta MYE sin)
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What is this medicine?

GENTAMICIN (jen ta MYE sin) is an aminoglycoside antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial skin infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to gentamicin or other antibiotics, sulfites, foods, dyes or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is only for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Apply a thin layer to the affected area as often as directed. You can cover the area with a sterile gauze dressing (bandage). Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. Use this medicine at regular intervals. Do not use more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your doctor or health care professional even if you think you are better. Do not stop using except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected. Do not use other skin care products without talking to your doctor or health care professional.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your skin condition does not improve in a week.

This medicine can make certain skin conditions worse. Only use it for conditions for which your doctor or health care professional has prescribed.

To prevent the spread of infection, do not share skin products, or share towels and washcloths with anyone else.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Possible serious side effects with gentamicin are rare from the use of skin products, but may include:
  • difficulty hearing or ringing in the ears
  • dizziness
  • increased thirst
  • loss of balance
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea
  • pain or difficulty passing urine

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • skin irritation

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store between 2 and 30 degrees C (36 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.

Last Updated: April 28, 2009
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