Neomycin: side effects, uses, dosage and warning


Neomycin side effects

What is neomycin and its side effects?

Neomycin is an antibiotic that is used to prevent bacterial infection in the intestines. Neomycin is also used to reduce the symptoms of hepatic coma.

Neomycin is sometimes given with another antibiotic.

Neomycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Neomycin can harm your kidneys or cause hearing problems. Hearing loss may be permanent if you take too much neomycin or take it for longer than recommended.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take neomycin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or other inflammatory bowel disease;

  • a blockage in your intestines; or

  • an allergy to similar antibiotics such as amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, paromomycin, streptomycin, or tobramycin.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • myasthenia gravis; or

  • Parkinson's disease.

May harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Do not breastfeed.

Do not give neomycin to a child without medical advice.

How should I take neomycin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Never take more than prescribed, or take for longer than 2 weeks. High doses or long-term use of neomycin can cause permanent hearing loss.

Keep using this medicine even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses could make your infection resistant to medication. Neomycin will not treat a viral infection (flu or a common cold).

Drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated.

Your hearing and kidney function may need to be tested.

For hepatic coma, neomycin is usually taken for only 5 to 6 days. Avoid eating foods high in protein during this time. Follow all instructions of your doctor or dietitian about adding protein back to your diet after treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have a planned surgery.

Store tightly closed at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.Detailed Neomycin dosage information

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking neomycin?

Do not share neomycin with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Neomycin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Neomycin may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • numbness or tingly feeling under your skin;

  • hearing problems (even long after you stop taking neomycin);

  • muscle twitching, seizure;

  • weak or shallow breathing; or

  • kidney problems--swelling, urinating less, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common side effects of neomycin may include:

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Neomycin side effects (more detail)

What other drugs will affect neomycin?

Neomycin can harm your kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, osteoporosis, organ transplant rejection, bowel disorders, high blood pressure, or pain or arthritis (including Advil, Motrin, and Aleve).

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • any other antibiotics;

  • digoxin;

  • fluorouracil;

  • methotrexate;

  • vitamin B-12;

  • a blood thinner--warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven; or

  • a diuretic or "water pill"--furosemide or ethacrynic acid.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect neomycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Important information about neomycin

Generic name: neomycin [ nee-oh-MY-sin ]
Brand names: Mycifradin, Neo-Fradin, Neo-Tab
Dosage form: oral tablet (500 mg)
Drug class: Aminoglycosides

Drugs Side Effects 101