Gentamicin

Gentamicin
ATC Code D06AX07, J01GB03, S01AA11, S02AA14, S03AA06
Formula C21H43N5O7
Molar Mass (g·mol−1) 477.6
Physical State solid
Melting Point (°C) 218–237
CAS Number 1403-66-3
PUB Number 3467
Drugbank ID DB00798
Solubility soluble in water

Basics

Gentamicin is an antibiotic from the group of aminoglycosides that is used to treat various types of bacterial infections. It is a mixture of substances consisting of several antibacterial compounds. These include bone infections, endocarditis, pelvic inflammatory disease, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and blood poisoning (sepsis). It is ineffective against gonorrhea or chlamydial infections. It can be given intravenously, by injection into a muscle, or topically. Topical formulations may be used for burns or eye infections.

Pharmacology

Pharmacodynamics

Gentamicin is a bactericidal antibiotic that acts by binding to the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome, thereby interfering with protein synthesis. Gentamicin's binding to the ribosome prevents bacterial tRNA from fully binding to the ribosome, resulting in protein chain termination. This inhibits the growth and multiplication of the bacteria.

Pharmacokinetics

The oral bioavailability of gentamicin is too low for peroral administration. Therefore, gentamicin is used exclusively parenterally (injection) or on the skin. Protein binding is 0-30%. The half-life is about 3-5 hours.

Toxicity

Side effects

  • low blood cell counts
  • Allergic reactions
  • Neuromuscular problems
  • nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Kidney damage (nephrotoxicity)
  • ear problems (ototoxicity)

Gentamicin can cause inner ear problems and kidney problems. The inner ear problems can cause problems with balance and hearing loss. Nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity are dose-dependent, with higher doses bringing a greater risk of side effects. These side effects may continue to occur even after gentamicin is stopped.

If used during pregnancy, it may harm the developing baby. However, use during breastfeeding is considered safe.

Toxicological data

LD50 (rat, oral): >5000 mg sulfate-kg-1

Editorial principles

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Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter
Author

Markus Falkenstätter is a writer on pharmaceutical topics in Medikamio's medical editorial team. He is in the last semester of his pharmacy studies at the University of Vienna and loves scientific work in the field of natural sciences.

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer
Lector

Stefanie Lehenauer has been a freelance writer for Medikamio since 2020 and studied pharmacy at the University of Vienna. She works as a pharmacist in Vienna and her passion is herbal medicines and their effects.

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