Streptomycin is a type of antibiotic used to treat a host of bacterial infections in targeted locations throughout the body. It is generally administered for severe infections that are unresponsive to conventional treatments.
Even though Streptomycin is widely considered to be a potent antibiotic, taking this medicine comes with serious risks. In particular, medical researchers have noted adverse contraindications in newborn infants and geriatric patients, who are more susceptible to the risk of hearing loss and neurotoxicity.
The drug is available by prescription only and may be ordered for at-home or in-hospital use – depending on the length of treatment needed.
The most common conditions that are treated include:
Streptomycin has been consistently included in the List of Essential Medicines – an annual publication by The World Health Organization. Patients should note that this and any other antibiotic is not an effective treatment for viral infections like the cold or flu.
The drug is often publicized as the first antibiotic cure for tuberculosis. In such medical cases, Streptomycin is prescribed concomitantly with other anti-tuberculosis agents for the maximum effectiveness.
Streptomyicn could lead to mild to severe side effects. Explore some of the potential risks of taking this medication below:
Some of the aforementioned side effects subside with time. However, alarming symptoms such as an allergic reaction, wheezing, hearing loss, or trouble breathing are serious. In these events, 911 should be contacted immediately.
Streptomycin antibiotics may also lead to a superinfection, meaning the underlying bacteria does not respond to treatment. Due to this risk of bacterial resistance, medical providers only prescribe Streptomycin for bacterial strains that have a demonstrated susceptibility to the drug. In the event of a superinfection, another course of treatment is usually administered.
One of the most common but nonetheless serious concerns of prescribing Streptomycin is the risk of hearing loss, which may be permanent or transient. Medical studies have concluded that Streptomycin could impact the cranial nerve, and hence lead to:
The average dose for Streptomycin varies from one patient to another and is largely dependent on the underlying condition, as well as the patient’s age, weight, and other factors.
The following outlines provide a general idea of the standard dose of Streptomycin, based on the condition it is used to treat.
Do not use this guide as a replacement for what your doctor has prescribed. Patients should never stop or alter doses unless directed by a primary health provider:
Note: Streptomycin is commonly used as a part of the treatment for tuberculosis. Other anti-tuberculosis agents are generally provided concomitantly with this medicine for maximum effectiveness.
1-2 g | Divided Daily | 7-14 Days
2 g | 2X Daily | 10 Days
For other bacterial infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, brucellosis, or UTIs, for instance, the following doses are suggested:
Streptomycin intramuscular injections are administered on a planned schedule to ensure maximum effectiveness.
If you have been prescribed in-home shots and forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but do not double up. If the time for the next dose is drawing near, skip the missed dose and contact a medical provider or pharmacist for help.
For the most part, Streptomycin is always injected into the muscles. However, in other parts of the world outside the United States, some institutions complete intravenous applications of Streptomycin.
To administer Streptomycin, a trained medical worker generally inserts the prescribed amount into a large muscle area. For in-home shots, clear and detailed instructions are typically provided by a pharmacist.
To avoid damage to the peripheral nerves, care should be taken when administering the injection. The standard recommendation is to inject the approved amount into a large muscle, such as the:
Medical workers will continue treatments even if the patient responds well and shows signs of good health to ensure that the bacterial infection/s it is used to treat has cleared up completely.
Follow these best practices for administering Streptomycin:
Certain medications are not recommended for simultaneous use with Streptomycin intramuscular injections. These include but aren’t limited to:
Discuss with your doctor if you regularly drink or smoke, as these lifestyle habits could influence how the medication works and may possibly cause negative interactions to occur. Also advise your doctor of any notable food intake that could potentially trigger an allergic reaction.
Certain underlying medical conditions may get worse with the use of Streptomycin intramuscular injections. These include:
Due to these risks, it’s important for patients to disclose their full medical history. Doctors may adjust dosage or use an alternative treatment to Streptomycin intramuscular injections in some cases.
As with all medicines, patients and providers should use caution when administering Streptomycin intramuscular injections. Learn the warning signs after use and the precautions that must be placed into consideration before treatment.
This medicine could cause a serious allergic reaction to occur. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve had a history of allergies to any medications as well as any hypersensitivity to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animal by-products. Some warning signs of an allergic reaction to Streptomycin intramuscular injections include:
If any of these symptoms occur, tell your doctor and call 911 right away.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the use of Streptomycin in newborns could negatively affect auditory and mobility functions. Most notably, Streptomycin could cause permanent hearing loss.
Another risk that is noted in this demographic is CNS depression. Medical specialists advise prescribing the lowest dose of the medicine for infants as a result.
The use of Streptomycin by seniors could lead to the development or worsening of kidney problems. Medical providers should therefore review patients’ full medical history to assess the risks and moreover adjust the dosage, if applicable.
Studies have uncovered that prescribing Streptomycin to expecting mothers could pose serious risk to the fetus. Nevertheless, this treatment may still be necessary in a life or death situation – where both the mother’s and baby’s lives are at risk.
Women who are not pregnant should take birth control as an extra precaution to prevent pregnancy – and until a doctor advises that it is safe to get pregnant.
Patients should take a note of the risks associated with Streptomycin intramuscular injections and advise a medical provider right away if any of the following issues arise following use:
Patients who have been given Streptomycin intramuscular injections in a hospital setting undergo a series of tests.
These assessments are done to determine if any serious side effects have resulted from the use of Streptomycin. The most standard tests that are completed include:
At times, the only way to determine if a serious bacterial infection is fully cleared is the lapse of time.
For certain bacterial infections, such as syphilis, for example, supplementary visits are scheduled roughly 12 weeks following treatment. During these follow-ups, patients can expect lab work to be performed once more, including blood and urine tests to trace any leftover signs of the disease.
If you have a pre-planned surgery scheduled in the near future, inform your doctor of any recent Streptomycin treatments. Using this medicine together with numbing medicines could cause adverse and potentially serious side effects.
Streptomycin vials should be stored at room temperature and away from heat or direct sunlight.
Keep this medication out of the reach of children and pets in a locked container.
Streptomycin intramuscular injections are prescribed for stopping the spread of bacteria and inhibiting future growth. As with most antibiotics, however, Streptomycin is not used to treat viral infections, such as the cold or flu.
It is, however, used as the first line of treatment against serious bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis, plague, pneumonia, and some strains of strep.
Patients should continue treatments with Streptomycin for the prescribed length of time, even if they feel better. This helps improve the chances of clearing the underlying infection completely.
Periodic urine, blood, and hearing tests are moreover recommended at follow-up visits to determine if the underlying disease is fully cured.
Streptomycin should be used with caution in expecting mothers as the medicine crosses the placental barrier and could possibly cause permanent hearing loss in the fetus.
Doctors are advised to only prescribe Streptomycin for bacterial strains that have a proven history of being responsive to this treatment.