Ototoxicity of amikacin

R. E. Black, W. K. Lau, R. J. Weinstein, L. S. Young, W. L. Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Amikacin was used in 77 treatment courses at a dosage of ≥7.5 mg/kg every 8 h, and patients were monitored for ototoxicity by following serial audiograms, serum creatinine, and amikacin blood levels. Patients were leukopenic (58), were infected by gentamicin resistant organisms (11), or had cystic fibrosis (8). Three patients developed tinnitus, but none had vertigo or nystagmus. Of 55 courses with pre and post treatment audiogram, 13 (24%) were associated with development of high frequency hearing loss, which was usually bilateral. No patient had conversational hearing loss, and audiograms reverted to normal in three patients. Onset of cochlear damage occurred in one patient after therapy was stopped. The group with high tone hearing loss, in comparison to the group without audiographic changes, received a larger mean total dose (24 versus 9.6 g), were treated for a longer duration (19 versus 9 days), and more frequently had previous aminoglycosides. Fifty seven percent of patients with a 'peak' serum level exceeding 32 μg/ml and 55% of patients with 'trough' levels exceeding 10 μg/ml developed cochlear damage. There was no difference between the groups in age, body weight, previous cochlear damage, renal disease before or during therapy, or average daily dose. Both monitoring of blood levels and limiting duration of therapy may prevent amikacin ototoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-961
Number of pages6
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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