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Kanamycin has the potential to induce auditory and sometimes vestibular toxicity, renal toxicity, and neuromuscular blockade. The risks are higher for patients with a present or past history of renal impairment (especially if hemodialysis is required): for those receiving concomitant or sequential treatment with other ototoxic or nephrotoxic drugs or rapid acting diuretic agents given intravenously (ethacrynic acid, furosemide, and mannitol), and for patients treated for longer periods and/or with higher doses than recommended.
Toxic effects of kanamycin on the eighth cranial nerve can result in partially reversible or irreversible bilateral loss of hearing, loss of balance, or both. Tinnitus or vertigo may or may not be experienced. Cochlear damage is usually manifested initially by small changes in audiometric test results at the high frequencies and may not be associated with subjective hearing loss. Vestibular dysfunction is usually manifested by nystagmus, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, or acute Meniere's syndrome.
Albuminuria, presence of red and white cells, and granular casts; azotemia and oliguria have been reported. Renal function changes are usually reversible when the drug is discontinued. Renal impairment may be characterized by a rise in serum creatinine and may be accompanied by oliguria, presence of casts, cells, and protein in the urine, by rising levels of BUN or by decrease in creatinine clearance.
Acute muscular paralysis and apnea can occur following treatment with aminoglycoside antibiotics. Neurotoxicity can occur after intrapleural and interperitoneal instillation of large doses of an aminoglycoside; however, the reaction has followed intravenous, intramuscular, and even the oral administration of these agents.
Some local irritation or pain may follow the intramuscular injection of kanamycin. Other adverse reactions of the drug reported on rare occasions are skin rash, drug fever, headache, paresthesia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The "malabsorption syndrome" characterized by an increase in fecal fat, decrease in serum carotene, and fall in xylose absorption, reportedly has occurred with prolonged therapy.
Read the Kantrex (kanamycin) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
In vitro mixing of an aminoglycoside with beta-lactam-type antibiotics (penicillins or cephalosporins) may result in a significant mutual inactivation. Even when an aminoglycoside and a penicillin-type drug are administered separately by different routes, a reduction in aminoglycoside serum half-life or serum levels has been reported in patients with impaired renal function and in some patients with normal renal function. Usually, such inactivation of the aminoglycoside is clinically significant only in patients with severely impaired renal function (see also Laboratory Test Interactions). See WARNING box regarding concurrent use of potent diuretics, concurrent and/or sequential use of other neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic antibiotics, and for other essential information.
Laboratory Test Interactions
Concomitant cephalosporin therapy may spuriously elevate creatinine determinations.
The inactivation between aminoglycosides and beta-lactam antibiotics described in Drug Interactions may continue in specimens of body fluids collected for assay, resulting in inaccurate, false low aminoglycoside readings. Such specimens should be properly handled, ie assayed promptly, frozen, or treated with beta-lactamase.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/8/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Kantrex Information
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