Kanamycin A

Brands of Kanamycin in Kenya:

Dawa-cin®, Dawa
Kanamed , Medisel Kenya Ltd

Kanamycin in Kenya
Kanamycin A Chemical Structure

Kanamycin Mechanism of Action:

Kanamycin works by interfering with protein synthesis. It binds to the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome. This results in incorrect alignment with the mRNA and eventually leads to a misread that causes the wrong amino acid to be placed into the peptide.

Kanamycin is a mixture of three main components: kanamycin A, B, and C. Kanamycin A is the major component in kanamycin
Kanamycin was first isolated in 1957 by Hamao Umezawa from the bacterium Streptomyces kanamyceticus


Kanamycin is indicated for short term treatment of bacterial infections caused by one or more of the following pathogens: E. coli, Proteus species (both indole-positive and indole-negative), Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, and Acinetobacter species. In cases of serious infection when the causative organism is unknown, Kanamycin injection in conjunction with a penicillin– or cephalosporin-type drug may be given initially before obtaining results of susceptibility testing.
Kanamycin does not treat viral infections


Documented hypersensitivity


  • Using abobotulinumtoxinA together with kanamycin may increase the risk of certain side effects such as excessive muscle weakness, paralysis, and difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking.
  • Adefovir may cause kidney problems, and combining it with other medications that can also affect the kidney such as kanamycin may increase that risk.
  • Kanamycin may increase the neuromuscular blocking effects of atracurium. This can increase the risk of severe and/or prolonged respiratory depression, which may be fatal. Antibiotics like kanamycin should generally not be used following surgery in which neuromuscular blockers have been used.
  • Using kanamycin together with bacitracin may increase the risk of serious side effects such as hearing loss, respiratory depression, and kidney problems
  • Coadministration of aminoglycosides and cephalosporins may increase the risk of nephrotoxicity.
  • The nephrotoxic effect of aminoglycosides may be potentiated by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly if the latter had been given in high dosages for prolonged periods.
  • Chronic use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may induce hypomagnesemia, and the risk may be increased during concomitant use of diuretics or other agents that can cause magnesium loss.
  • The potential nephrotoxicity of foscarnet and aminoglycosides may be additive. Concomitant use of these drugs could also lead to additive hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia, which may increase the foscarnet-related risks of QT prolongation and seizures.
  • Concomitant use of intravascular radiocontrast media with other nephrotoxic agents may potentiate the risk of contrast-induced nephropathy and renal impairment.
  • Aminoglycosides possess neuromuscular blocking activity, which may be additive with that of parenteral magnesium, potentially resulting in severe and/or prolonged respiratory depression during concomitant use.
  • Coadministration of macrolide immunosuppressants with other nephrotoxic agents may increase the risk and/or severity of renal impairment due to additive adverse effects on the kidney.


Serious side effects include ringing in the ears or loss of hearing, toxicity to kidneys, and allergic reactions to the drug.
Other side effects include:
Gastrointestinal effects
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Musculoskeletal effects
Myasthenia gravis
Neurologic effects
Blurring of vision
Neuromuscular blockade
Metabolic effects
Malabsorption syndrome

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions:

The PPB Department of Pharmacovigilance was set up with a vision to develop, implement and continuously upgrade an appropriate system for detecting, reporting, and monitoring adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and other relevant problems with medicines in Kenya. The department strives to ensure the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products in Kenya.
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorization of the medicinal product are important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals/ Patients are encouraged to report any suspected adverse reactions via Pharmacovigilance Yellow Form, pv@pharmacyboardkenya.org or clicking below button:

Kanamycin in Kenya
Kanamycin in Kenya
Kanamycin in Kenya
Kanamycin in Kenya
Kanamycin in Kenya

Clinical | Pharmacokinetic data

Pregnancy Category: D : Evidence of risk
Routes of Administration: By mouth, intravenous, intramuscular
Bioavailability: very low after by mouth delivery
Protein Binding: Not Available
Metabolosim: Unknown
Onset of Action: Not Available
Elimination Half life: 2 hours 30 minutes
Excretion: Urine (as unchanged drug)

Legal Status | Dosage forms & Strengths

Prescription Category:
Prescription only Medicine (POM) , ℞-only
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control ) Act Schedule:
This drug is not a controlled substance under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control ) Act
Dosage Forms | Strengths:

Drug Indentifiers:

CAS Number
PubChem CID
PDB ligand
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)

Drug Images

References/ Citation:


What was the patient being treated for