Aminoglycosides
  • Ginkgo - Possible Harmful Interaction
  • Minerals: Magnesium and Calcium - Possible Harmful Interaction
  • Vitamin B 12 - Supplementation Possibly Helpful
  • N-acteylcysteine - May Decrease Activity of Drug
  • References
En Español (Spanish Version)

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).

Trade Names
  • Amikacin
  • Gentamycin
  • Tobramycin
Ginkgo
Possible Harmful Interaction
The herb ginkgo is thought to increase circulation and protect nerve cells from damage. On this basis, it has been proposed as a possible treatment to help protect the auditory nerve from damage caused by aminoglycosides. However, the one animal study performed to evaluate this potential benefit found instead that the herb increased damage to the auditory nerve. 1 Based on this finding, individuals using aminoglycoside drugs should avoid ginkgo.

Minerals: Magnesium and Calcium
Possible Harmful Interaction
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

Vitamin B 12
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
One animal study weakly hints that vitamin B 12 might help prevent hearing damage caused by gentamicin. 4

N-acteylcysteine
May Decrease Effectiveness of the Drug
One exceedingly preliminary animal study suggests that N-acetylcysteine might help protect the kidneys from damage caused by gentamicin. 5




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.
Last Reviewed August 2013



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