Description Return to top
Gentamicin (jen-ta-MYE-sin) belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Gentamicin topical preparations are used to treat infections of the skin.
Gentamicin is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Cream (U.S. and Canada)
Ointment (U.S. and Canada)
Before Using This Medicine Return to top
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For topical gentamicin, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any related antibiotics, such as amikacin (e.g., Amikin), gentamicin by injection (e.g., Garamycin), kanamycin (e.g., Kantrex), neomycin (e.g., Mycifradin), netilmicin (e.g., Netromycin), streptomycin, or tobramycin (e.g., Nebcin). Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives or dyes.
Pregnancy—Gentamicin topical preparations have not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.
Breast-feeding—Gentamicin topical preparations have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children—This medicine has been tested in children over 1 year of age and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.
Older adults—Many medicine have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults.
Although there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are using any other topical prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine that is to be applied to the same area of the skin.
Proper Use of This Medicine Return to top
Before applying this medicine, wash the affected area with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub in gently.
After this medicine is applied, the treated area may be covered with a gauze dressing if desired.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even though your symptoms may have disappeared. Do not miss any doses.
The dose of topical gentamicin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average dose of topical gentamicin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
For topical dosage forms (cream or ointment):
For bacterial infections:
Adults and children 1 year of age and over—Apply to affected area(s) of the skin three or four times a day.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
To store this medicine:
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store away from heat and direct light.
Keep the medicine from freezing.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
Precautions While Using This Medicine Return to top
If your skin problem does not improve within 1 week, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Side Effects of This Medicine Return to top
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Itching, redness, swelling, or other sign of irritation not present before use of this medicine
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Brand Names Return to top
In the U.S.—
Category Return to top