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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Kanamycin (Oral)

Brand Names

In the U.S.-

  • Kantrex


  • Bowel preparation, preoperative, adjunct
  • Hepatic encephalopathy therapy adjunct


Oral kanamycin (kan-a-MYE-sin) belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. It is used before surgery affecting the bowel to help prevent infection during surgery.

Kanamycin is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Capsules (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For oral kanamycin, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to oral kanamycin or to any related antibiotics such as amikacin (e.g., Amikin), gentamicin (e.g., Garamycin), kanamycin by injection (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 foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Oral kanamycin has not been reported to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.

Breast-feeding- Oral kanamycin has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children- Although there is no specific information comparing use of oral kanamycin in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults- Many medicines 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 or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of oral kanamycin in the elderly with use in other age groups.

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 taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of oral kanamycin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Blockage of the bowel-Oral kanamycin should never be used in patients who have a blockage of the bowel
  • Eighth-cranial-nerve disease (loss of hearing and/or balance)-Use of oral kanamycin may increase problems related to hearing and/or balance
  • Kidney disease or
  • Ulcers of the bowel-Use of kanamycin in patients with either condition may cause an increase in side effects

Proper Use of This Medicine

This medicine may be taken on a full or empty stomach.

Keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment. Do not miss any doses .


The dose of oral kanamycin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of oral kanamycin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (capsule):
    • For patients in a coma from liver disease:
      • Adults and children-2 to 3 grams every six hours.
    • For cleaning the bowel before surgery:
      • Adults and children-1 gram every hour for four hours; then, 1 gram every six hours for thirty-six to seventy-two hours.

Missed dose-

For patients taking oral kanamycin before any surgery affecting the bowel :

  • If you miss a dose of this medicine, take 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. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat and moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Side Effects of This Medicine

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:

  • Rare--with long-term use and high doses
    • Any loss of hearing;  clumsiness;  dizziness;  greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine;  increased thirst ;  ringing or buzzing or a feeling of fullness in the ears;  unsteadiness 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • More common
    • Diarrhea;  nausea or vomiting 

  • Rare--with prolonged treatment
    • Increased amount of gas;  light-colored, frothy, fatty-appearing stools 

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT