Gentamicin - topical
Gentamicin - topical
This medication is used to treat minor skin infections (such as impetigo, folliculitis) or minor infections related to some skin conditions (such as eczema, psoriasis, minor burns/cuts/wounds). Gentamicin works by stopping the growth of certain bacteria. It belongs to a class of drugs known as aminoglycoside antibiotics.
This antibiotic only treats bacterial infections. It will not work for virus or fungus infections. Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
This medication is for use on the skin only.
Wash your hands before using. Clean and dry the affected area as directed. If you are treating impetigo, remove any dried, crusty skin to increase contact between the antibiotic and the infected area. Then gently apply a small amount of medication in a thin layer as directed by your doctor, usually 3 to 4 times a day. You may cover the area with a sterile gauze bandage if so directed. Keep the infected area clean. Wash your hands after use, unless you are using this product to treat the hands.
Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If this occurs, wipe off the medication and rinse thoroughly with water.
Dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. Do not apply large amounts of this medication, use it more often, or use it for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects may increase.
Continue to use this medication for the full length of treatment prescribed, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your skin infection persists or if it worsens.
Skin irritation, redness, and itching may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Rarely, use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in other types of skin infections (such as fungal or other bacterial infections). Contact your doctor if you notice any unusual skin symptoms or if your condition does not improve.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using gentamicin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as tobramycin, amikacin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
Rarely, this medication may be absorbed into the blood if you are applying it to large areas of skin, especially if the areas are cracked, broken, or raw. Injured skin may absorb more of this product, and the chance of serious side effects may increase. Consult your doctor for more details.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. However, this drug is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor tells you to.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C). Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised June 2018.
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