Amikacin is a drug that is given by injection. This medication is only for use in the short term, generally seven to 10 days. It’s prescribed to treat severe bacterial infections that are located in various areas of the body. It can also prevent infections from getting started.

It belongs to the medication class called aminoglycoside antibiotics. This medication works by preventing the growth of bacteria or killing it. Because it’s an antibiotic, it only treats bacterial infections, not viral ones. It won’t treat a viral infection like a colds or the flu. This medication is only available as an injectable solution.

Precautions and Warnings WithAmikacin

Avoiding this medication if you have ever been allergic to it or other aminoglycoside antibiotics is essential. These include tobramycin (found in Tobradex) and gentamicin. If you have other allergies, you may need to talk to your pharmacist about the inactive ingredients in this medication, like sulfites, in case you are allergic to any of them.

Before taking Amikacin, let your doctor know your complete medical history. If you have ever had hearing problems, cystic fibrosis, low blood minerals, kidney problems, Parkinson’s disease, or myasthenia gravis, make sure to tell your doctor. You might not be able to take this medication. Other antibiotics might need to be substituted for Amikacin.

If you take a vaccine with a live bacterial in it, like the vaccine for typhoid, this medication can also make it not work. You may need to wait to get these vaccines until this medication is out of your system. If you’re going to have surgery, make sure the doctor or dentist knows that you’re taking this medication. They should know about all the medicines you’re on.

There are a lot of effects that are possible for people who take Amikacin, and older people are more susceptible to many of these, especially for developing kidney damage. This medication can cause nerve damage as well as severe kidney problems and problems with balance. The nerve damage can cause permanent hearing loss, including decreased hearing or even deafness. If you already suffer from kidney disease, your risk is more significant. If you have severe dehydration, this also raises your risk. If you take high doses of this medication or use it for a long time, your risk is also raised.

Tell the doctor immediately if you experience roaring sounds or ringing in your ears. Also, tell them if you have less urine than usual, you have trouble hearing, or you are dizzy while taking this medication. Your doctor will monitor you to ensure you aren’t getting any severe effects. You might need to take blood, hearing, urine, and kidney tests to allow for that monitoring. If you take certain other medications while you take Amikacin, it could make serious effects more likely.

If you’re pregnant, you should not take this medication. There haven’t been any reports that babies had any health problems from the mother using this drug, but harm has been reported with other similar medications. This medication does pass in small amounts into breast milk. Some doctors consider it to be safe to breastfeed while taking Amikacin, though, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about it.

Side Effects of Amikacin

There are several side effects that you can have from Amikacin that don’t require you to get medical attention. There are also severe side effects that require you to contact your doctor. Some of the milder side effects include joint pain, pain at the injection site, nausea, headaches, vomiting, loss of appetite, and upset stomach. If you have these symptoms that worsen or bother you a lot, let your doctor know. You may need to take a different medication.

It’s also possible for this medication to cause a severe condition of the intestines that is caused by having too much of the bacteria C. difficile. When this antibiotic is used, it can kill off many types of bacteria in the intestines. C. Difficile won’t be affected, so it becomes overgrown. That type of bacteria excretes toxins, which can cause the patient health problems like severe diarrhea. Serious issues, like dehydration, could result from this diarrhea. It’s also possible to have mucus or blood in your stool. You may also have cramping and stomach pain. If these side effects begin, don’t use an anti-diarrheal medication or take any products with opioids. Both of these can worsen symptoms.

If you take Amikacin for a long time, you could also end up getting thrush. This is a yeast infection that’s in the mouth. If this happens, you’ll get oral white patches. You may also get a vaginal yeast infection. This can cause discharge and vaginal itching.

It’s rare to have a severe allergic reaction to Amikacin, but it does happen in some patients. If this happens, you can expect to experience severe dizziness, a rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling or itching in the face or mouth. If these occur, seek out emergency treatment right away.

More severe side effects may be the symptoms of significant health problems developing. If you have any of these side effects, be sure to call your doctor as soon as you can:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Less urine
  • Ringing in ears or hearing loss
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of balance or dizziness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Abnormally tired or weak
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching
  • Seizure

Amikacin Drug Interactions

If you take Amikacin, there are certain other medications that you shouldn’t take. If you need those medications, you might have to be changed to a different antibiotic. This drug should not be taken with cidofovir, amphotericin B, birth control pills such as Yaz), colistin, bacitracin, cisplatin, other antibiotics, and diuretics such as furosemide and ethacrynic acid.

While taking this medication, please ensure your doctor knows everything you take. This includes anything over the counter, vitamins, and herbal or mineral supplements. Avoid taking OTC NSAIDs like ibuprofen.

Amikacin Strengths and Dosages

The only form of this medication is a solution to be injected. It is often put into an IV for use in the hospital. It has two strengths: 50 mg/mL and 250 mg/mL. The dosage a patient gets generally depends on why they are getting the medication and how old they are. It also depends on your risk of side effects. While you’re taking this medication, you may need to be checked for severe side effects.

FAQs of Amikacin

Can you drink alcohol with this medication?

It’s ok to have a little alcohol on this medication, but it should be in moderation.

Can you take this medication while pregnant?

No, it’s not supposed to be used in pregnancy. It’s possible that it could put the baby at risk. Suppose you’re breastfeeding while on this medication; be sure to ask your doctors whether they recommend it. The scientific community doesn’t have a consensus on this question.

Can this medication cause any significant side effects?

Yes, most people don’t get them, but they are possible. It’s possible to suffer from permanent hearing loss with this medication. You could also develop kidney problems. Ensure your doctor knows about any issues you’re having while taking it.

Should I contact the doctor if Amikacin gives me diarrhea?

Yes, telling your doctor about it is essential, especially if it doesn’t go away. This can be an overgrowth of C. difficile, harming your health. Please don’t treat it with an anti-diarrhea medication before you ask your doctor whether it’s all right. Sometimes, these medications can make this type of diarrhea worse.

Is it ok for the elderly to take Amikacin?

Yes, it can be used by the elderly, but they will be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, and this includes serious ones like kidney problems.

Can Amikacin be used to treat a cold?

No, it’s an antibiotic that only kills bacteria to end a bacterial infection. It won’t work on colds or the flu.

Can you take OTC medications with Amikacin?

Yes, it’s generally ok to take many of them, but don’t take any NSAIDs. These are OTC pain reducers and anti-inflammation medications. These may interact poorly with this medication.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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