How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Paromomycin belongs to the family of medications called antibiotics. It is used to treat certain infections of the intestine caused by organisms known as amoebas. The condition, known as amoebiasis, often has no symptoms except the passage of cysts (a form of the amoeba) in the stool.

Some cases of amoebiasis are associated with diarrhea or constipation, flatulence, and cramping abdominal pain. The stools sometimes contain mucus and blood. Some symptom relief usually occurs within about 5 days after starting paromomycin treatment.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those 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 capsule with yellow body and brown cap, imprinted with "Parke-Davis" contains paromomycin sulfate equivalent to paromomycin 250 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silica and magnesium stearate; capsule shell: black iron oxide, gelatin, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended daily dose of paromomycin for adults, teenagers, and children is 25 mg to 35 mg per kilogram of body weight, taken in 3 divided doses with meals for 5 to 10 days.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

Take paromomycin with meals to prevent stomach upset.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Finish all this medication, even if you have started to feel better. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

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 this medication if you:

  • are allergic to paromomycin or any ingredients of this medication
  • have a blockage of the intestine

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.

  • diarrhea (mild)
  • nausea
  • stomach ache

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • diarrhea (severe)
  • dizziness
  • hearing trouble
  • ringing in the ears
  • skin rash

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.

Medical conditions: If you have allergies, kidney disease, or intestinal disorders, 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: Paromomycin kills many other organisms in the body. This may result in the overgrowth of organisms such as fungi that the medication does not kill. If you develop symptoms of any other type of infection, 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 paromomycin passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between paromomycin and any of the following:

  • digoxin
  • penicillin and similar antibiotics
  • succinylcholine

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

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.