Melissa Benoit

Amikacin

Why is this medication prescribed?
Amikacin (Amikin®) is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of medications called aminoglycosides. In CF, amikacin is used to treat lung infections caused by specific bacteria - for example Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

How does this medication work?
Amikacin works by decreasing the amount of bacteria in the lungs.

What is the usual dose?
The usual dose for an adult is 300-500mg twice a day by IV infusion.

How should this medication be taken?
Amikacin is a medication that needs careful checking. If there is too little in your body, the drug will not fight the infection; if there is too much, it can harm your kidneys and your hearing. Your doctor will order blood to be drawn at the start of your treatment to make sure your amikacin levels are safe. The treatment usually lasts 10-14 days, however, your doctor may decide that you need a longer treatment.

It is possible that your treatment could be finished at home. If you finish therapy at home, amikacin should be given by someone trained to administer IV medications. Sometimes you or a family member can be taught to administer IV antibiotics.

If the IV bags are to be kept in the fridge, take the IV bag for the next dose out of the fridge one hour before the dose is due and let it warm to room temperature.

You must complete your treatment of antibiotics. Do not stop unless your doctor tells you to.

What should I do if I miss a dose?
Do not double any dose. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose.

What should I expect from this medication?
You may or may not experience side effects. These side effects may disappear but let your doctor know if they are severe or if they last for more than 2 days. These can include mild nausea, diarrhea and pain at the site of the injection but tell us if you have any other side effects as well.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness, trouble standing up, ringing in the ears, or decreased urine output.

Precautions
If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, talk to your doctor before starting any antibiotics.

Your doctor or your team will measure your amikacin levels more frequently if you are dehydrated or are receiving long term treatment.