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What Is Capreomycin?

By Angie Pollock
Updated May 17, 2024
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Capreomycin, prescribed under the brand name Capastat®, is a polypeptide antibiotic used in conjunction with other medications in the treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). The antibiotic is derived from the bacterium Streptomyces capreolus. The uses of capreomycin include fighting and preventing the growth of bacteria that are known to cause tuberculosis. Like with most medications, there are precautions and side effects to consider before use.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), which, if left untreated, can be fatal. Although TB can affect most parts of the body, the bacterium most often attacks the lungs. Capreomycin is one antibiotic used in treating lung infections caused by TB. Due to the side effects, this drug is often only prescribed when a patient does not respond to or cannot use other types of antibiotics.

The more serious side effects of capreomycin include kidney cell toxicity, an increase or decrease in white blood cell count, and tinnitus. Patients may also experience dizziness, a loss of hearing, and skin irritations such as hives or rashes. Common side effects reported from use include reactions at the injection site such as pain and swelling. Some patients reported pain, weakness, and cramps of the muscles. Other reactions that may occur include an allergic reaction, urination problems, and breathing difficulties.

Capreomycin is most often prescribed as an injection into a large muscle such as the buttocks or thigh. In most cases, it is administered by a medical professional in a healthcare facility, though it can be done at home by the patient as well. Dosage varies from patient to patient and should be provided by a doctor. For typical cases, capreomycin dose for adults is 1 gram daily for up to 120 days; after 60 to 120 days, the dosage generally remains the same but is only injected a couple of times a week. It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s instructions and the drug’s label for proper dosage.

This drug should be stored properly according to the label’s instructions. Any vials that become damaged or appear unusual should not be used. Although the drug may turn a pale color, it should not contain any particles or become cloudy.

There are various risks of capreomycin use especially for the elderly, children, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. This type of antibiotic should be used with caution in older adults and pregnant or lactating women. In most cases, the use of capreomycin in children is not recommended. This drug may also interact with other medications such as muscle relaxants and other antibiotics.

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