How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Amikacin belongs belongs to the family of medications called antibiotics. It is used to kill certain types of bacteria that cause infections in the abdomen, blood, bones, joints, lungs (e.g., pneumonia), and urinary tract. This medication works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each mL of sterile aqueous solution contains amikacin sulfate equivalent to amikacin 250 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium bisulfate 6.6 mg (0.66%), sodium citrate dehydrate 25 mg (2.5%), sulfuric acid to adjust pH, and water for injection.
How should I use this medication?
The usual recommended dose of amikacin for adults and children is 7.5 mg/kg up to maximum daily dose of 1.5 g for adults, and 1.0 g for children. The medication can be given as a single dose, or divided into two doses given every 12 hours. Amikacin is given by IV (into a vein) or IM (into a muscle) injection. For IV and IM injections, the dose of this medication will be administered by your doctor or health care professional. The length of treatment with amikacin depends on the severity of the infection and the response to the medication. A maximum total adult dose of 15 g during a course of treatment should not be exceeded.
The level of amikacin in your blood can be checked through laboratory testing. This test helps your doctor determine the dose of amikacin that best suits you.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take amikacin if you are allergic to amikacin, other aminoglycoside antibiotics, or any of the ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- injection site reactions (redness, swelling, and pain)
- vein irritation
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears
- numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Hearing loss: Amikacin can cause hearing loss. People with a history of hearing loss should not take this medication if possible. If you experience any hearing loss, dizziness, or ringing ears while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Kidney function: Amikacin can cause kidney damage. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Overgrowth of organisms: During prolonged or repeated treatment with amikacin, other bacteria or fungi may be allowed to overgrow. If your condition does not improve or worsens while taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking amikacin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: Premature babies and young infants may require regular blood tests to ensure that the child is receiving the most appropriate dose.
Seniors: Seniors may be more likely to experience side effects associated with amikacin. They may need a lower dose or be put on a less frequent dosing schedule.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between amikacin and any of the following:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.