Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

Gentamicin helps in the treatment of a range of bacterial infections. It belongs to a group of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics. The drug stops bacterial growth thus preventing or treating the infection.

This medicine, when used topically to treat superficial infections of the skin or ophthalmic infections caused by susceptible bacteria. It also helps in preventing bacterial endocarditis prior to dental or surgical procedures.

The medicine may be administered after a span of 8 hours, depending on the health of the patient, age, weight, extensity of the infection and the body’s reaction to the medication. Expecting women are also not encouraged to take this drug as it may harm the fetus. The drug is known to pass into breast milk, but most doctors consider it safe for breastfeeding mothers.

Generally certain laboratory tests, for instance, a kidney function test may be done before administering the drug so as to determine the dosage that can be given. Such tests are regularly done once Gentamicin is started to check the progress of the drug and its effect on the body.

Gentamicin is used for the treatment of susceptible bacterial infections, normally gram-negative organisms including Pseudomonas, Proteus, Serratia, and gram-positive Staphylococcus. And also in the treatment of bone infections, respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, as well as abdominal and urinary tract infections, endocarditis, and septicemia.

Certain common side effects of the drug include vomiting, feeling nauseous, appetite loss and stomach upset. Redness or itching at the site of the injection is very rare, if this does occur or any of the side effects worsen contact your doctor and seek relevant medical advice.

Patients should provide doctors with their detailed medical history, including information about any allergies or existing health condition they suffer from before taking the injection. Inform your doctor and discuss the various possibilities of the drug use, especially if you suffer from medical problems like -

Gentamicin should be kept away from the reach of children as well as pets. In case of a missed dose, get in touch with your doctor for a new schedule. A double dosage can result in severe complications.

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Internal Medicine Specialist before using this medicine.

This medicine is used to treat the following clinical conditions:

  • Bacteremia

  • Intra-Abdominal Infections

  • Bacterial Meningitis

  • Osteomyelitis

  • Skin And Soft Tissue Infections

  • Pyelonephritis

This medicine may cause the following side effects:

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The effect of this medicine lasts for a duration of about 6 to 8 hours.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The top effect of this medicine is observed within 30 to 90 minutes of administration.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This medicine is not suggested for pregnant women. Consult your doctor before using it.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendencies are reported for Gentamicin.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    The medicine is known to excrete through human breast milk. It is always suggested to discuss with the doctor about benefits and risks associated with Gentamicin.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Caution must be taken in patients with kidney disease. Adjustment of dose is required. Kindly consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    Caution must be taken in patients with liver disease. Adjustment of dose is required. Kindly consult your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    This medicine is expected to cause side effects like drowsiness or dizziness and may affect the consciousnesses of the patient. Thus driving must be avoided.
  • Are there any missed dose instructions?

    The missed dose can be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose.
  • Are there any overdose instructions?

    Consult a doctor if symptoms of overdose are suspected.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Gentamicin as ingredient

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This medication works by works by binding to the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosomes thus inhibits protein synthesis in bacteria and stops the growth of the bacteria.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Alcohol

    Interaction with alcohol is not known. Consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Penicillin may decrease aminoglycoside serum concentrations in vitro.
  • Interaction with Medicine


    Gentamicin is not recommended with loop diuretics due to the increase in the risk of kidney injury and hearing problem. Inform the doctor if you are receiving these medicines and any symptoms of hearing loss, dizziness, numbness should be reported immediately. Frequent monitoring of kidney function tests is necessary. An alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

    Use of Gentamicin with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac, aspirin may increase the risk of kidney injury. Any symptoms of swelling, weight gain, increased thirst, changes in the frequency of urination should be reported to the doctor. Suitable dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.


    Use of Gentamicin with cephalosporins like ceftriaxone, cefotaxime may increase the risk of kidney injury. Any symptoms of swelling, weight gain, increased thirst, changes in the frequency of urination should be reported to the doctor. Suitable dose adjustments or an alternate medicine should be considered based on the clinical condition.


    Increased toxicity: Neuromuscular blocking agents may increase neuromuscular blockade.
  • Interaction with Disease


    Always consume good amount of water to avoid any kidney injury and hearing problem caused due to dehydration.


    Not intended for long-term therapy due to toxic hazards associated with extended administration; pre-existing renal insufficiency, vestibular or cochlear impairment, myasthenia gravis, hypocalcemia, conditions which depress neuromuscular transmission.
  • Interaction with Food

    Calcium, magnesium, potassium: Renal wasting may cause hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, and/or hypokalemia

Ques: What is Gentamicin?

Ans: This drug is an antibiotic medication that inhibits the growth of bacteria in the body.

Ques: What is it used for Gentamicin?

Ans: It is helpful in treating bacterial skin infections. It can also cure infected cuts and wounds.

Ques: What are the side effects of Gentamicin?

Ans: Side effects of this medicine include Balance disorder (loss of balance), Kidney damage, Hearing loss and Injection site pain.

Ques: Is Gentamicin effective?

Ans: Gentamicin is a very effective medicine to treat bacterial infections. However, to get the most benefits out of this drug, it is mandatory to follow the dose and duration as prescribed by the doctor.

Ques: How to use Gentamicin?

Ans: You need to apply this medication only on the clean and dry area. Rub the cream into the skin. Make sure not to let this drug come in contact with your eyes or mouth.

Ques: What precautions do I need to take while using Gentamicin?

Ans: Do not use this drug near your mouth or eye. If this medicine goes in your eyes or mouth, then rinse it with water immediately. Seek medical help, if required. Also, make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients present in this drug.

Ques: What should I do if I forget to use Gentamicin?

Ans: You can use this medication as soon as you remember it. However, use it only as prescribed to you by the doctor.

Ques: Is Gentamicin safe?

Ans: This medication is completely safe to use and does not cause any major side effects. It is important to follow the instructions given by the doctor regarding this durg to ensure complete safety.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS, Master in Healthcare Administration, Diploma in Occupational Health
General Physician
Table of Content
About Gentamicin
What are the uses of Gentamicin
What are the contraindications of Gentamicin ?
What are the side effects of Gentamicin ?
Key highlights of Gentamicin
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Gentamicin approved?
Medicines containing Gentamicin
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Gentamicin ?
FAQs about Gentamicin