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What Is Streptomycin Sulfate?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Streptomycin sulfate is an injectible antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including those that have demonstrated resistance to other antibiotics. Pain or swelling at the site of the injection and mild to moderate stomach upset are the most frequently reported side effects of this medication. More serious side effects may include muscle weakness, fever, and increased heart rate. Prolonged use of streptomycin sulfate may lead to the development of yeast infections affecting the mouth or genitals. Severe damage to the nervous system and kidneys are possible side effects of streptomycin sulfate, so any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this drug should be reported to a doctor right away.

Due to the strength of streptomycin sulfate, this antibiotic is administered only by a qualified medical professional. Mild irritation at the injection site is common but usually disappears shortly after the medication is delivered. Severe swelling, pain, or blistering of the skin should be evaluated for possible complications.

Stomach upset such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea may occur as a result of this drug. Severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, or vomit that resembles coffee grounds may indicate serious gastrointestinal damage and should be reported to a medical professional right away. Plenty of fluids should be consumed to prevent dehydration if vomiting or diarrhea are present.

Potentially serious side effects of streptomycin sulfate may include chest pain, heart palpitations, and increased heart rate. Muscle weakness, fever, and changes in urinary output may develop when taking this medication. Sudden or severe headaches, dizziness, and ringing in the ears need to be medically evaluated as soon as possible. The prescribing physician should be alerted to any over-the-counter, prescription, or herbal medications being taken to guard against possible interactions and complications.

Patients who have been diagnosed with kidney disease or impaired renal function may not be able to safely use streptomycin sulfate, although the dosage may be able to be adjusted if the medication is deemed to be necessary. Severe nerve damage may develop, especially if this drug is used for a prolonged period of time. This nerve damage can lead to permanent hearing loss and other neurological disorders. Symptoms such as facial swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing may indicate the development of a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis and demands emergency medical attention. Any other bothersome symptoms should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation.

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