This medication can rarely cause serious kidney problems and nerve damage, resulting in permanent hearing loss (including deafness or decreased hearing) and balance problems. These serious side effects may occur even in people without kidney problems and taking usual doses. Hearing problems may occur long after neomycin has been stopped. The risk is increased if you are older, already have kidney disease, or if you have a severe loss of body water (dehydration). Your risk is also increased if you receive high doses, or with longer use of this medication.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice ringing/roaring sounds in the ears, hearing loss, dizziness, or an unusual decrease in the amount of your urine.
Severe muscle and breathing problems may also rarely occur.
Careful monitoring by your doctor will reduce the risk of these side effects. Monitoring may include hearing, kidney, and urine tests.
Avoid other medications that may increase your risk for these serious side effects if taken together with neomycin. See also Drug Interactions section.Who should not take neomycin?
This medication is used to decrease the risk of infection after certain intestinal surgeries. Neomycin belongs to a class of drugs known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria in the intestines.
Neomycin may also be used along with a special diet to treat a certain serious brain problem (hepatic encephalopathy). This condition is caused by too much of a certain natural substance (ammonia). Normally, the liver gets rid of ammonia, but liver disease can cause too much ammonia to build up in the body. This medication helps treat encephalopathy by killing certain intestinal bacteria that make ammonia.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
Take this medication by mouth exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
To decrease the risk of infection after intestinal surgery, this medication is usually taken for 3 or 4 doses the day before surgery, or as directed by your doctor. Carefully follow your doctor's directions for any diet restrictions and using this medication or other products before surgery.
For treating hepatic encephalopathy, this medication is usually taken four times a day for 5 to 6 days, or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To decrease your risk of hearing loss and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. The manufacturer recommends that this medication should not be taken for longer than 2 weeks during each treatment period.
If you are taking this medication for hepatic encephalopathy, use it regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea 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.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: difficulty walking, numbness/tingling, muscle twitching or weakness, seizure.
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: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking neomycin tablets, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as tobramycin); 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, especially of: hearing problems (including deafness, decreased hearing), intestinal problems (including blockage, swelling, ulcers), kidney problems, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson's disease.
High doses or longer use of neomycin may cause your body to not properly absorb some foods, nutrients (such as iron, Vitamins A and B-12), and drugs (such as digoxin, warfarin). 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).
Newborn and premature babies may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially hearing problems.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Although there have been reports of harm in babies born to women using similar drugs, the risk for harm may not be the same with this drug. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. However, many doctors consider breastfeeding safe while using this medication. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also Precautions section.
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.
Other medications that may affect the kidneys or hearing may increase the risk of kidney damage or hearing loss if taken with neomycin. Some examples include: amikacin, tobramycin, amphotericin B, cidofovir, cisplatin, polymyxin B, cephalosporins such as cephaloridine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, among others.
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
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.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. 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.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as hearing tests, kidney function) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you are taking this drug before a scheduled surgery to prevent infection and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, continue taking your dosing schedule as directed and contact your doctor immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you are taking this drug to treat hepatic encephalopathy and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines 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 February 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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