Facts about Aminoglycosides
Aminoglycosides are a group of the broad spectrum antibioticmedications. These are: amikacin, apramycin, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin and others.All these drugs are used to treat various bacterial infections, especiallythose caused by gram negative aerobic bacteria, such as Salmonella, Pseudomonas,Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Escherichia coli. They are also used to treat rodentdiseases, such as tularemia or plague. These are not the drugs useful intreating common cold, flu or some viral infections, but some recent studiesshown that aminoglycosides can successfully slow down the progression of cysticfibrosis.
Aminoglycosides work by binding to 30S ribosome in bacterialcells. This binding affect and stops synthesis of proteins in bacteria, leadingto bacterial death.
You can’t take aminoglycosides orally, because just smallamount of it get absorbed into the blood and becomes ready to be used. The onlyways to use this group of medication are therefore intravenously, by irrigationor by inhalation. In most cases, aminoglycosides are used on their own, butthey can be combined with some other beta-lactam antibiotics to treat gramnegative bacterial infections.
Adverse Effects of Aminoglycosides
Aminoglycosides shouldbe used only under medical supervision. It means that your doctor must beconsulted before you start any treatment with these antibiotic medications. He/shewill study your medical history, weight, age and other medications you havebeen using and prescribe the dose and aminoglycosides suitable for your case. Theymight also recommend monitoring of aminoglycoside levels in your blood, to watchclosely the dosage and reactions of your body to these medications.
Some of serious side effects associated with the use ofaminoglycosides are renal-, oto- and vestibulo-toxicity, which are more likelyto occur in children and elderly. If you notice any changes in your urine whileusing these antibiotics, make sure to contact your doctor, because it mayindicate kidney problems. It is usually enough to adjust the dose, but in somecases renal problems may cause cessation of these medications. High doses ofaminoglycosides, especially in older patients may cause ototoxicity and loss ofhearing. Another side effect is loss of balance, caused by aminoglycoside vestibulotoxicity,after the prolonged use of these medications.
Other adverse effects include: allergic reactions to thesedrugs and dizziness.
If you already know that you are allergic to aminoglycosidesyou mustn’t use these antibiotics. Patients with Parkinson’s disease andkidney-related problems should discuss the use of aminoglycosides with theirdoctor.
These medications are not advised to be used in pregnantwomen, since they might cause harmful consequences in unborn children.