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Streptomycin is used to treat infections such as tuberculosis, bacterial endocarditis (infection of heart walls), bacteremia (presence of bacteria in blood), meningitis (viral or bacterial infection in brain), pneumonia (lung infection), brucellosis and tularemia (infectious diseases spread through animals), urinary tract infections and plague (bacterial infection).

How it works

Streptomycin belongs to the class of drugs called aminoglycosides.  It works by killing sensitive bacteria by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Common side effects

Neck pain, Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), Pain, Increased white blood cell count, Balance disorder (loss of balance), Dizziness, Inability to empty the urinary bladder, Ringing in ear, Vertigo


Expert advice

• Tell your doctor if you have hearing difficulties, nerve problems, muscle problems, Parkinson’s disease, pre-existing vertigo (spinning sensation) or kidney problems.
• Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
• Should not be given to patients allergic to streptomycin or any of its ingredients.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is streptomycin bactericidal or bacteriostatic?
Streptomycin is bactericidal.
Q. Is streptomycin still used today?
Antidiarrheal and parenteral preparations containing streptomycin are banned.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)