Neomycin For Hepatic Encephalopathy: Are There Any Side Effects?


We are currently living in a world where scientific advances are providing us comfort, convenience, and a better chance for survival. That is all because of technology moving our civilization forward. Some of these innovations include the world wide web and smartphones. Another advancement for human beings, of course, is in the field of medicine, where new products such as drugs and other treatment options are now available to patients. One such medication is called Neomycin. But what is neomycin for? What are the possible side effects of the said drug? In this article, we answer these questions, so read on to find out more!

Neomycin: A General Overview

Neomycin is a type of drug that requires a prescription from a healthcare professional. It comes as a generic drug, which means there is no branded version of this medication. Neomycin comes as a tablet that is taken orally. This medication is utilized as a form of combination therapy, which means that it needs to be taken along with other medicines.

Neomycin is utilized for the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections in the gut, and it can also be given to patients before they undergo a surgical procedure. It is also a treatment option for hepatic coma, a coma that is the result of a severe form of Hepatic Encephalopathy. Hepatic Encephalopathy is a condition where there is live failure resulting in toxic buildup in the blood, which can adversely affect and damage the brain.

How does Neomycin Work?

Neomycin is classified as a drug under the aminoglycosides class. A class is a group of medicines that have similar mechanisms and can address similar conditions. For individuals suffering from some form of infection, Neomycin may help by having the bacteria killed, and having its growth in the body stopped. This can have the infection treated and can also help in the prevention of the infection from ever occurring at all. People suffering from hepatic coma are unable to have ammonia taken out of their blood. Neomycin can help these patients by having the bacteria in the gut killed, which in turn, can have ammonia released.

The Side Effects

While these oral tablets do not lead to patients getting drowsy, this medicine can still have other side effects. Some of the more common ones include diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. For mild side effects, these can resolve on their own after several days or weeks. However, for more severe side effects, patients should discuss these with their pharmacist or medical professional (physician).

On the other hand, neomycin can also have some side effects that may be considered severe. If the patient believes that he or she has symptoms of severe neomycin side effects, then the patient should contact his or her doctor or 911 for severe side effects that may be life-threatening. Some of the more serious side effects of neomycin are the following:

  • Nervous system and brain damage (shaking, numbness, muscle twitching, and tingling of the skin)
  • Hearing loss and ear damage
  • Damage to the kidneys (Less urine than regularly observed, thirst, fatigue, and confusion)
  • A weakness of the muscles
  • Trouble breathing

It must be noted, that this article is not intended to replace your doctor’s advice as there may be other symptoms or signs related to Neomycin, that only a doctor or medical practitioner can address. It is still best to consult a doctor for severe signs and symptoms of neomycin side effects.

Neomycin and Other Medications: What to watch out for

It is also important to note that neomycin can interact with other herbs, supplements, vitamins, and medications a patient may be taking. Once these interact, the way the drug works may be altered. It can lead to the drug not working as intended or can even be harmful to patients. To avoid these kinds of interactions, patients should let their doctors monitor and manage the meds that they are supposed to take. Once again, it is best to discuss all of the drugs, supplements, and vitamins you may be taking to avoid harmful drug interactions.

Some possible drug interaction examples for neomycin include:

  • Drugs that should not be taken with neomycin- If these drugs are taken with neomycin, they can cause some serious harm to the patient. Some of these drugs are:
    • Topical or oral aminoglycosides and other forms of meds that can be toxic to the nerves or the kidneys
    • Diuretics such as furosemide and ethacrynic
  • Drugs that can increase side effects risks- On the other hand, other drugs can increase the likelihood of having increased side effects that were mentioned earlier. This includes drugs that are utilized to make people sleep and relax while having surgery such as succinylcholine and tubocurarine.
  • Drugs that can have increased side effects due to neomycin- This includes warfarin which can lead to a bleeding risk if taken together with neomycin.
  • Drugs that have their effects reduced or less effective due to neomycin- These include digoxin, 5-Floucaril, methotrexate, vitamin B12, and Penicillin V. The patient’s doctor may need to have the levels of these drugs monitored if the patient will be taking these drugs with neomycin.

Some Things to Remember When Taking Neomycin

Patients must take neomycin as directed by their doctor as it is intended for treatment that is short term. It can come with severe risks if directions for taking it are not followed or observed. Those who may stop taking neomycin or those who did not start the treatment in the first place may have their existing infection become worse while others may have an increased risk for the development of the infection.

On the other hand, those who might miss a dose may have the medicine work less effectively and even not work at all. This is because neomycin is a drug that requires the patient to have specific amounts of it in their body at specific times

Neomycin for Hepatic Encephalopathy

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