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Aminoglycosides

By

Brian J. Werth

, PharmD, University of Washington School of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jun 2022| Content last modified Sep 2022
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Aminoglycosides include the following:

  • Amikacin

  • Gentamicin

  • Kanamycin

  • Neomycin

  • Plazomicin

  • Streptomycin

  • Tobramycin

Spectinomycin is chemically related to aminoglycosides and works in a similar way. It is not available in the United States.

Aminoglycosides work by preventing bacteria from producing proteins they need to grow and multiply.

These antibiotics are poorly absorbed Drug Absorption Drug absorption is the movement of a drug into the bloodstream after administration. (See also Introduction to Administration and Kinetics of Drugs.) Absorption affects bioavailability—how quickly... read more into the bloodstream when taken by mouth (orally), so they are usually injected into a vein or sometimes a muscle. Neomycin is available only for topical and oral use (oral aminoglycosides can be used to decontaminate the digestive tract because they are not absorbed). These antibiotics are usually used with another antibiotic that is effective against many types of bacteria (called a broad-spectrum antibiotic).

All aminoglycosides can damage the ears and kidneys. So doctors monitor the dose carefully and, if possible, often choose a different type of antibiotic.

Use of Aminoglycosides During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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