Neomycin (Oral)

The dual capabilities of Neomycin make it a useful drug both for patients who are soon going under bowel-related surgery, as well as those suffering from a hepatic coma.


If a patient is suffering from a hepatic coma, Neomycin is a drug that is prescribed to help lessen the symptoms they are experiencing. A hepatic coma is a complication that can arise as a result of liver disease. In addition to this application, it can also be used with other medicine before any surgery that affects the bowels. It is used to prevent infection arising during the surgery itself.

Be aware that Neomycin is only appropriate for certain patients who have undergone a full medical examination. It is therefore only available via a doctor's prescription.

Condition(s) treated

  • Hepatic coma

Type of medicine

  • Tablet

Side Effects

As well as having its intended effects, it is possible that Neomycin will cause a range of other unwanted side effects to occur. These side effects can range in their severity and the need to seek medical assistance. Directly below is a list of the more serious side effects for which you should inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the effects listed.


  • Greatly decreased amount of urine or frequency of urination

As mentioned, aside from these more serious side effects, you could experience some less serious ones which don't require immediate assistance. In fact, you may find that the side effects listed below will pass over time as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, if you do experience any of the side effects listed below and find them lingering or bothersome, then you can still contact your doctor. They may be able to advise upon a way to reduce your symptoms or make them more manageable.

More common

  • Vomiting or nausea

It is possible that you will experience side effects that have not been listed above. If this is the case and you would like guidance regarding the effects you are experiencing, you should discuss this with your doctor.


Below you can find the average doses of Neomycin given to patients either about to go into bowel-related surgery or who are experiencing a hepatic coma. Do be aware that the exact doses you are prescribed may differ greatly from those listed below. That is because each prescription is based on the exact needs of the patient and takes into account a range of other factors. This includes things like other drugs you currently take and the extent of your condition. You should never change the doses you have been prescribed unless you are told to do so by your doctor.

For those in a hepatic coma from liver disease:

  • Adults and teenagers. Take 1 to 3 mg every six hours for five to six days.

For those cleaning their bowel before a surgery:

  • Adults and teenagers. Take 1 gram each hour for 4 hours. Afterwards, take 1 gram every four hours for the remaining amount of the 24 hour period. Alternatively, take 1 gram 19 hours before surgery, and then 1 gram nine hours before the surgery.

It is important you do not miss any doses, as doing so will impact the usefulness of this medication. If, however, you do miss a dose for any reason, you should take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Although, if it is almost time for you to take your next scheduled dose then you should skip the missed dose. It is important that you never double dose.

You can take Neomycin either on an empty or full stomach.

If you are taking the oral liquid form of this medicine, you should use the specially marked measuring spoon that is given in order to accurately measure doses. Alternatively, use a different accurately marked device. An average teaspoon may not be accurate enough.

You should keep taking this medicine for the full period of prescription and should not miss any doses.


It is possible that Neomycin will interact with other drugs you are currently taking. Oftentimes, your doctor will want to avoid interactions as they are unnecessary. However, under certain circumstances an interaction may be necessary. If it is necessary, then your doctor may alter the doses of one or both medicine that you are prescribed in order to limit the extent of the interactions. Either way, you should advise your doctor of all drugs you currently take, including both prescription and nonprescription ones. Directly below is a list of drugs with which it is usually not recommended you take at the same time as Neomycin.

  • Decamethonium

If you take Neomycin at the same time as any of the following drugs, then you may be at increased risk of experiencing certain side effects. However, it may still be that taking both is the best course of treatment for you. Therefore, instead of changing one of the drugs, your doctor may choose to alter one or both of the doses you receive.

  • Digoxin

As well as potentially interacting with other drugs, it is possible that Neomycin will interact with certain aspects of your dietary intake. To avoid these interactions, your doctor may make recommended changes to what and how much you smoke, eat, or drink each day. For example, it may be suitable that you drink less alcohol or smoke less tobacco whilst taking Neomycin.

Finally, other medical problems that you have could potentially interact with the Neomycin that you take. You should inform your doctor of any and all medical problems you have. In particular, you should be clear in highlighting any of the following.

  • Kidney disease. If you have this condition then you may be at a greater risk of experiencing certain side effects


Before you are prescribed this medicine, your doctor will need to ensure it is indeed the best course of treatment for you. To do this they will need to fully examine you and understand the extent of your condition. As a part of this examination, you should advise them of any allergies you have. This includes allergies to dyes, foods, preservatives, and animals.

Be aware that neonates and premature infants are more sensitive to the effects of this drug that adult patients are. As such, they are at greater risk of experiencing damage to the kidneys, sense of balance, and hearing. Your doctor is best placed to decide whether it is indeed suitable for your child to take this medicine.

Similarly, geriatric patients are more sensitive to the effects of this drug than younger patients. As such, they are also at risk of experiencing damage to the kidneys, sense of balance, and hearing. The prescribing doctor can better judge the extent of your condition and decide whether this is suitable if you are an elderly patient.

The studies performed on pregnant women taking Neomycin have highlighted a risk to the fetus. However, you should be aware that the benefits of taking this drug may still outweigh the risks if you are in a life-threatening situation. Your doctor can best advise you on the increased risks and then weigh them against the benefits with you.

As of writing, there are no adequate studies that have been performed into the use of Neomycin on women who are breastfeeding. Yoru doctor will be able to advise of any risks and weigh them against the benefits.


You should store your Neomycin in a sealed container and keep it at room temperature, away from direct light, moisture, and heat. You should never allow it to freeze and should keep it safely away from children at all times. Once you have finished a course of treatment, you should dispose of any remaining medication in a safe and sensible manner as advised by your doctor. Similarly, if you find any medicine that is out of date, you should not use it and should instead dispose of it.


If you are about to have any bowel-related surgery, or if you are suffering from a hepatic coma as a result of liver disease, then Neomycin can be a useful drug for you to take. However, be aware that it is only available via a prescription and is only suitable for certain patients. If you are prescribed it, then you should follow your doctor's prescription as accurately as possible. This may require adhering to other dietary changes as well.

Above, you can find details regarding possible side effects you may experience whilst taking Neomycin. If you are worried by these side effects or believe them to be serious, then you should contact your doctor. They may be able to advise on ways to reduce them or make them more manageable. If you have any other questions regarding your treatment, you should address these to your prescribing doctor.