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Amikacin is used in the treatment of bacterial infections and tuberculosis (TB)

How it works

Amikacin is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by inhibiting synthesis of essential proteins, required by bacteria to carry out vital functions.

Common side effects

Balance disorder (loss of balance), Headache, Hearing loss, Renal dysfunction, Skin rash, Vomiting, Nausea, Diarrhoea

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Expert advice

It is given as a drip (intravenous infusion) or as an injection directly into a vein or into a muscle. Doctor will ensure that patient should be well hydrated before and during amikacin treatment.
Do not drive because you may feel sleepy or dizzy while being treated with amikacin.
Amikacin should be used with caution in premature and newborn babies.
During treatment patient may undergo blood, urine, or hearing tests to look for signs of side effects. 
Do not start or continue the amikacin and consult your doctor:
  • If you have a kidney problem, or hearing difficulties or tinnitus (ringing in ears)
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions



Is amikacin sulfa, penicillin or an aminoglycoside drug?
Amikacin does not contain sulfa and is not a penicillin drug. It is a semisynthetic aminoglycoside


Is amikacin dialyzable?
Yes, amikacin is a dialyzable drug


Is amikacin ototoxic?
Yes, amikacin is ototoxic

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Is its injection painful?
Its injection is painful. Please consult your doctor before taking the drug


Does amikacin need to be refrigerated?
Amikacin should be stored at or below 25°C. It should not be frozen


What organisms does amikacin cover?
Amikacin is mainly effective against aerobic gram-negative bacteria such as pseudomonas as well as some gram-positive bacteria such as staphylococcus including methicillin-resistant strains but it is not the drug of choice for infections due to staphylococcus bacteria.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)