Side effects of aminoglycosides on the kidney, ear, and balance in cystic fibrosis

Note; Aminoglycosides are a class of antibiotics used to treat serious infections caused by bacteria that either multiply very quickly or are difficult to treat.Aminoglycosides are called bactericidal antibiotics because they kill bacteria directly. Oct 20, 2015 Ref:

Citation; Prayle A, Watson A, Fortnum H, et alSide effects of aminoglycosides on the kidney, ear and balance in cystic fibrosis Thorax 2010;65:654-658

Aminoglycoside antibiotics are a central component of the treatment of pulmonary exacerbations of cystic fibrosis (CF) and slow the decline in lung function which ultimately causes the death of most patients. The prognosis of CF has improved, and thus side effects of treatments have become increasingly important. Observational studies suggest that the morbidity from side effects of aminoglycosides is disturbingly common and that aggressive treatment may lead to more side effects. This review of the current literature on side effects of aminoglycosides considers the pathophysiological mechanisms, epidemiology and risk factors, investigation of side effects and preventative strategies. Treatments which have shown early promise are identified and areas of future research are discussed.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-limiting autosomal recessive disorder in the Caucasian population with approximately 7000 affected individuals in the UK.1 A mutation in the CF gene leads to a defective or absent CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) which, in most patients, ultimately leads to bronchiectasis and chronic infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.Intravenous aminoglycosides are used for exacerbations owing to their efficacy against P aeruginosa. Patients often require several courses of intravenous antibiotics per year. The survival of patients with CF has improved, and side effects of treatment have become increasingly important.

We review the current literature on the side effects of aminoglycosides commonly used to treat pulmonary exacerbations of CF. The major side effects of aminoglycosides are kidney injury, hearing impairment and vestibular toxicity.

Link to full paper;