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Aminoglycosides are antibiotics given intravenously to treat certain infections. These drugs can damage the kidneys as well as the nerve supplying the ear (the auditory nerve).
  • Amikacin
  • Gentamycin
  • Tobramycin
Weak evidence from animal studies hints that use of gentamycin may reduce levels of magnesium and calcium. 2 Supplementation may therefore be helpful on general principles if gentamicin treatment is used for a long time. One animal study suggests that calcium supplements in particular might help prevent gentamicin-induced kidney damage. 3
One animal study weakly hints that vitamin B 12 might help prevent hearing damage caused by gentamicin. 4


Miman MC, Ozturan O, Iraz M, et al. Amikacin ototoxicity enhanced by Ginkgobiloba extract (EGb 761). Hear Res . 2002;169:121–9.

Kes P, Reiner Z. Symptomatic hypomagnesemia associated with gentamicin therapy. Magnes Trace Elem .1990;9:54–60.

Humes HD, Sastrasingh M, Weinberg, JM. Calcium is a competitive inhibitor of gentamicin-renal membrane binding interactions and dietary calcium supplementation protects against gentamicin nephrotoxicity. J Clin Invest. 1984;73:134.

Jin X, Jin X, Sheng X. Methylcobalamin as antagonist to transient ototoxic action of gentamicin. Acta Otolaryngol . 2001;121:351–4.

Mazzon E, Britti D, De Sarro A, et al. Effect of N-acetylcysteine on gentamicin-mediated nephropathy in rats. Eur J Pharmacol . 2001;424:75–83.


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