Kanamycin And Gentamicin-Risks And Dosages


Kanamycin And Gentamicin-Risks And Dosages.

Kanamycin and gentamicin are injectable antibiotics that are generally overused in some countries. Use of these dangerous medicines should be very limited, because they can cause deafness and damage to the kidneys. Also, bacteria quickly become resistant to them and they lose their effectiveness.

Streptomycin is another medicine from this same group but it is generally used only for tuberculosis.


They should be given by experienced health workers only for certain severe infections when other safer medicines are not available or are too expensive. Kanamycin is sometimes used to treat gonorrhea or eye infections like conjunctivitis in newborn babies.

Kanamycin  which is also known as kantrex often comes in vials for injection with 75 mg, 500 mg or 100 mg.



Too much kanamycin for too long may cause deafness. If ringing of the ears or hearing loss begins, stop taking the medicine and see a health worker. Kanamycin should not be taken by pregnant women or persons with kidney problems.



15 mg/kg/day : vials of liquid or powder for mixing with water to give 1 gm of kanamycin in 2 ml.

Give twice a day, then for each injections, give :

  • Adult : 500 mg
  • Children between 8 to 12 years old : 250 mg
  • Children between 3 to 7 years old : 125 mg
  • Children under 3 years old : 62 mg
  • For babies : give 8 mg for each kg of body weight; then a 3kg baby gets 24 mg.

For gonorrhea, large amounts are given in a single dose; for eye infection in newborn babies, give one injection of 25 mg for each kg the baby weighs.

A 3kg baby would get 75 mg.



Gentamicin is also known as Garamycin, in many countries today, gentamicin is used instead of kanamycin. Its action and the risks and precautions are similar, but the dosage is smaller (2 to 5 mg/kg/day). This dosage is divided and usually given 3 times a day.


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