gentamicin (generic name)

Garamycin (brand name)

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial 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 infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral 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:
  • balance problems
  • hearing problems
  • kidney disease
  • myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to gentamicin, aminoglycosides, other medicines, sulfites, foods, dyes or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

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?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • cidofovir

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • acyclovir
  • amphotericin B
  • carbenicillin
  • cisplatin
  • colistin
  • cyclosporine
  • ethacrynic acid
  • foscarnet
  • furosemide
  • ganciclovir
  • medicines to open the lungs in premature newborns
  • medicines used during surgery for sleep or muscle relaxation
  • other antibiotics
  • polymyxin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

Tell your doctor or health care professional if you have any hearing problems or problems passing urine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Elderly patients are more likely to get serious side effects. Serious side effects with gentamicin include:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • changes in hearing
  • confused, dizzy, disoriented
  • fever
  • loss of balance
  • muscle twitch
  • numb, tingling pain
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizures
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired

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

  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • pain at site where injected

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

If you are using this medicine at home, you will be instructed on how to store this medicine. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.

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 29, 2009
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