This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: Canada
- This drug may cause kidney, nerve, and hearing problems (like long-lasting hearing loss), even at normal doses. The risk may be higher if your child already has kidney or hearing problems, gets higher doses, or uses this drug for a long time. The risk may be higher in older people, infants, or with dehydration. Hearing loss can happen even after this drug is stopped. If your child already has kidney problems or hearing problems, tell the doctor. Your child may need to have hearing and kidney tests.
- Do not give this drug to your child if your child is taking or has recently taken any drugs that can cause nerve, kidney, or hearing problems. This may be drugs like amphotericin B, bacitracin, cephaloridine, cisplatin, colistin, cyclosporine, ethacrynic acid, furosemide, paromomycin, polymyxin B, vancomycin, viomycin, or other drugs like this one. There are many other drugs that can do this. Ask the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- Muscle problems (muscle weakness) and severe breathing problems have happened with drugs like this one. The risk is higher in people who already have nerve or muscle problems like myasthenia gravis. The risk is also higher in people who are getting other drugs like those that are used to put you to sleep or to relax muscles. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat bacterial infections.
What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?
- If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If your child is allergic to sulfites, talk with your child’s doctor. Some products have sulfites in them.
- Have your child’s blood work, hearing, and other lab tests checked as you have been told by the doctor.
- Do not give to your child longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- If the patient is a newborn, use this drug with care. The risk of side effects may be higher in newborns.
If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.
- Tell the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about any risks to the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Change in balance.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Ringing in the ears, hearing loss, or any other changes in hearing.
- Muscle weakness.
- Trouble breathing that is new or worse.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Diarrhea is common with antibiotics. Rarely, a severe form called C diff–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem. CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking antibiotics. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery, or bloody stools. Check with your child’s doctor before treating diarrhea.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best given?
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into a muscle or as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.
What do I do if my child misses a dose?
- Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
General drug facts
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
Last Reviewed Date
© 2023 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.