Gentamycin is an Aminoglycoside
They are antibiotics used to treat infections caused by gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, pseudomonas and salmonella) as well as gram positive bacteria (staphyloccus aureas).
Enterrococci are generally resistant to aminoglycosides. Aminoglycosides are used in the short-term treatment of many serious infections (e.g. septicemia) only when other less toxic anti-infectives are inffeffective or contraindicated.
Because of poor absorption from the gastrointestinal (G I ) tract, amninoglycosides are usually administered parentally, (i.e., I M or I V).
Serum levels (peak and trough) are often drawn to determine optimal dosing and lessen the risk of side effects. These levels measure the amount of drug in the blood at different times, and are used to adjust the subsequent doses and/ or the frequency of doses. Peak serum levels are drawn 1 hour after the start of the infusion or I M injection of the third doses of aminoglycoside; trough levels are drawn 30 minutes before the next dose.
Side effects from aminoglycosides, especially in older adults, dehydrated patients, or those with renal or hearing impairment, can include:
– Nephrotoxicity, including pathological kidney condition, can be reversed upon discontinuation.
– Ototoxicity, both auditory and vestibular (vertigo) may be permanent.
– Neuromuscular blocking, including respiratory paralysis
– CNS symptoms include headache, tremor, lethargy, numbness seizures
– Blurred vision, rash, or urticaria