Aminoglycosides Drugs Cheat Sheet

The aminoglycosides are a group of powerful antibiotics used to treat serious infections caused by gramnegative aerobic bacilli. Because most of these drugs have potentially serious adverse effects, newer, less toxic drugs have replaced aminoglycosides in the treatment of less serious infections.

Aminoglycosides Drugs include:
• Amikacin (Amikin),
• Gentamicin (Garamycin),
• Kanamycin (Kantrex),
• Neomycin (Mycifradin),
• Streptomycin (generic),
• Tobramycin (TOBI, Tobrex).


Aminoglycosides are bactericidal. They bind directly and irreversibly to 30S ribosomal subunits, inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis. They’re active against many aerobic gram-negative and some aerobic gram-positive organisms and can be used in combination with other antibiotics for short courses of therapy.

Ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity are the most serious complications. Neuromuscular blockade also may occur. Oral forms most commonly cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Parenteral drugs may cause vein irritation, phlebitis, and sterile abscess.

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