Neomycin is a broad-spectrum oral medicine commonly prescribed to patients with hepatic coma and other bacterial infections in the intestines. It’s commonly used with other medications to treat certain bacterial infections. It isn’t an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, and a physician would have to prescribe this medication to you.
Did a doctor prescribe you neomycin? Then you’re on the right page! This page discusses everything you need to know about this aminoglycoside antibiotic, mainly its uses, side effects, how it works, and more. Continue reading to learn more about the drug you’re consuming.
Table of Contents
What Is Neomycin?
Neomycin, an oral tablet, is a prescription drug only available as a generic drug. It doesn’t have a brand-name counterpart.
It’s an aminoglycoside antibiotic that’s used to prevent and treat different kinds of bacterial infections. It also has other uses, such as part of a combination therapy. When taking this drug, you should be wary of the neomycin side effects, both severe and common ones. Continue reading to learn more about this drug!
Uses of Neomycin
As mentioned above, it’s used to treat and prevent bacterial infections, mainly the following medical conditions:
Hepatic coma, or hepatic encephalopathy (HE), is an altered level of consciousness due to liver failure. In this condition, the blood’s ammonia levels would rise and have a high chance of passing the blood-brain barrier in the brain. This barrier protects the brain from toxic substances in the blood and nourishes brain tissues.
High ammonia concentrations in the blood-brain barrier cause neuronal damage, leading to hepatic coma or neuronal edema. Thanks to the bactericidal effect of this drug, it can decrease ammonia levels by reducing the bacteria that cause high ammonia levels in the intestines.
If you have hepatic coma, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe you other medicine to treat your condition.
One of the most common uses of neomycin is for surgical prophylaxis. Patients would take this before their colorectal surgery. Doing this helps them prevent intestinal infection caused by the bowel’s normal bacteria flora.
This oral tablet can also be used to treat IBS-C or constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.
How Does Neomycin Work?
Neomycin, part of the aminoglycosides, a group of antibiotics, protects against Gram-negative infections. It’s often used in combination with other antibiotics to treat certain Gram-positive infections. Aminoglycosides and neomycin can kill bacteria by preventing bacterial protein synthesis – which is essential for the bacteria to multiply and survive in the body.
When a physician administers this drug before a bowel surgery, the drug helps remove the gut bacteria in the body to prevent a sudden intestinal bacterial infection, which could hinder the surgery process and the patient’s recovery.
As mentioned above, when neomycin is used with other drugs to treat conditions like hepatic coma, the drug kills any ammonia-forming bacteria. Thus, it helps alleviate the symptoms of hepatic coma.
Neomycin Side Effects
Like any medicine, neomycin also has its side effects. As mentioned above, it has both standard and severe side effects. Let’s talk more about it!
Common Side Effects
The following are common side effects that you may experience. These mild effects can go away within a few weeks or days. However, immediately consult your physician or pharmacist when the following symptoms become severe or don’t stop.
Severe Side Effects
If you experience the following side effects, call your healthcare provider immediately. These are serious side effects that can be life-threatening. When it feels like a medical emergency or you’re in serious trouble, consider calling 911 immediately.
The following side effects and their symptoms are the following:
- Ear damage or hearing loss
- Muscle weakness
- Brain or nervous system damage
- Muscle twitching
- Skin tingling
- Breathing trouble
- Kidney damage
- Less urine than normal
Interactions and Considerations
Are you taking any drugs before consuming neomycin? If so, you need to know about the following interactions that can be hazardous to the body and may even prevent the medication from working correctly. The following are substances, supplements, and other drugs that can interact with this drug:
Taking neomycin can reduce the effects of vitamin B6, B12, vitamin D, folate, and iron levels. So, when you take this medication, ensure you have enough vitamins and are taking the right amount. Consult your physician about the proper dosage and vitamins you should take. It can also reduce or deplete magnesium, calcium, carbohydrates, lipids, beta carotenes, salt, vitamins A and K.
Alcohol or Tobacco
Please don’t drink alcohol or smoke tobacco when taking neomycin since it can cause severe problems and side effects when these two substances interact.
When a physician introduces you to new medicine, the most responsible thing you can do is research more about the medication. Read the pamphlet that comes with the medication. Do your research to learn about the side effects you may experience and how it can help with your condition.