Neomycin: What is it? What is it for? How to use? Side Effects and Precautions

It is an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

It is used to reduce the risk of infection during bowel surgery, to reduce the symptoms of hepatic coma or to treat eye infections.

Neomycin is a prescription medicine. It comes in the form of an oral tablet, ointment or liquid medicine. The Neomycin oral tablet is only available as a generic drug. It does not have a brand version.

This medicine belongs to the family of medications called antibiotics.

What is Neomycin for?

  • To treat bacterial infections in the intestines.
  • It is administered before certain surgeries.
  • It is used to treat hepatic coma: loss of brain function due to a liver problem. Hepatic coma occurs when your liver can not eliminate ammonia from your blood.
  • Ocular infections
  • Intestinal problems.

How does it work?

Neomycin belongs to a class of medications called Aminoglycosides.

For people with an infection, Neomycin acts by eliminating bacteria and preventing them from growing in your body.

People with hepatic coma can not eliminate ammonia from their blood. Neomycin acts by removing bacteria in the intestine, which releases ammonia.

Side effects of Neomycin

Common side effects:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

If these effects are mild, they may disappear in a few days or a couple of weeks. If they are more severe or do not go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects:

  • Numbness.
  • Tingling in the skin.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Shake.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • However exagerado.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Respiration problems.

Call your doctor immediately if you have serious side effects, as these are signs of brain or nervous system damage.

How to use?

Eye infections:

First, wash your hands. Tilt your head back and, gently pressing your finger on the skin just below the lower eyelid, remove the lower eyelid from the eye to make room.

Express a small line of ointment in that space (Neomycin in ointment). Generally, a 1-cm ointment line is sufficient, unless your doctor has told you to use a different amount.

Release the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Keep your eyes closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medication to come into contact with the infection.

To keep the medication as germ-free as possible, do not touch the tip of the applicator with any surface (including the eye).

After using Neomycin, clean the tip of the tube to spread with a clean tissue and keep the tube tightly closed.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the entire treatment period, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Try not to forget any dose.

Neomycin, liquid

Measure the liquid medicine with a special spoon to measure the dose or a cup for medicines, not with a common table spoon. If you do not have a dose measurement device, request one from your pharmacist


  • Your symptoms may improve before the infection has completely disappeared. But skipping doses can also increase your risk of additional infection.
  • Neomycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or the flu.

Important considerations

  • You can take this medicine with or without food.
  • Take this medicine at the time recommended by your doctor.
  • You can cut or crush the tablet.

What is the amount to use of Neomycin?

The dose of Neomycin will be different for each patient and their conditions. Follow your doctor’s orders or the instructions on the label.

The amount will depend on the strength and severity of the infection. Also, the time between doses and the amount you take each day depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medication.

Average dose:

If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to.

Hepatic encephalopathy:

Adults: 4 to 12 g daily, divided orally every 4 to 6 hours for 5 to 6 days

Children: (1 month to 18 years): 50 to 100 mg daily orally every 6 to 8 hours for 5 to 6 days.

Hepatic coma:

Adults: 4 to 12 g daily, divided orally every 4 to 6 hours for 5 to 6 days

Children: (1 month to 18 years): 50 to 100 mg daily orally every 6 to 8 hours for 5 to 6 days.


Adults: 3 g daily orally in 4 divided doses

Children: (Less than 1 month): 50 mg daily orally every 6 hours.

(1 year to 18 years): 50 mg daily orally every 6 hours for 2 to 3 days.

For eye infection:

Adults and children: use it in the eye every eight or twenty-four hours.

Note: If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Interaction with other medications

Neomycin can harm your kidneys, and this effect increases when you also use certain medicines that are harmful to the kidneys.

Before taking neomycin, tell your doctor if you are using other antibiotics, such as:

  • Amphotericin.
  • Bacitracina.
  • Colistimethate
  • Polymyxin B Sulfate.
  • Penicilina V.
  • Vancomycin

It is a priority to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are using:

  • Cisplatin.
  • Digoxin
  • Methotrexate
  • Vitamin B12.
  • Antiviral drugs such as Adefovir, Cidofovir or Tenofovir.
  • Anticoagulants such as Warfarin.
  • Medicines for botulism toxin (Botox, Dysport, Myobloc, Xeomin and others).
  • Diuretics (water pill) such as Bumetanide, Etacrine Acid, Furosemide or Torsemide.

Precautions with Neomycin

  1. You should not take this medication if you are allergic to Neomycin or similar antibiotics, such as: Amikacin. Gentamicin Kanamycin Paromomycin. Streptomycin. Tobramycin
  2. You should not use Neomycin if you have ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, a blockage in your intestines, or other inflammatory bowel disease.
  3. Do not use Neomycin if you are pregnant. It could harm the baby. Use effective contraceptives and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
  4. It is not known if Neomycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. But, for safety, you should not breast-feed while you are using Neomycin.
  5. Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, myasthenia gravis or Parkinson’s disease.
  6. Never use it in amounts greater than recommended, or for more than 2 weeks. High doses or prolonged use can cause severe kidney problems or hearing loss that may not be reversible.
  7. To make sure that this medication is not causing harmful effects, your kidney function and your nerve and muscle function should be checked frequently.
  8. Neomycin can damage your kidneys. Before using the medication, tell your doctor about all other medications you use.
  9. If you are being treated for hepatic coma, avoid eating foods rich in protein. Follow your doctor’s instructions about any other restrictions on food, beverages or activity.
  10. If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Neomycin. This can interact with certain medications that can be administered during surgery.



Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic or unusual reaction to this medicine or other medicines. Also inform your health professional if you have any other type of allergy, such as food, dyes, preservatives or animals.


Studies on this drug have been conducted only in adult patients and the safety and efficacy of Neomycin in people under 18 years has not been established. However, its use may be appropriate in some situations.


Many medications have not been specifically studied in elderly people, including Neomycin. Therefore, it may not be known if they function in exactly the same way as they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in the elderly.


Studies in pregnant women have shown a risk to the fetus. However, Neomycin can be used in a life-threatening situation or a serious illness.


There are no adequate studies in women to determine the risk of children using this medicine during breastfeeding.


  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature between 68 ° F and 77 ° F (20 ° C and 25 ° C).
  • Avoid freezing it.
  • Keep this medication in a tightly-closed container. Store it away from direct light and heat.
  • Do not store this medication in damp or humid areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Keep Neomycin out of the reach of children.


Your body does not absorb much of this medication, so it is unlikely that you can take too much. However, if you do so, you may have the following symptoms of an overdose:

  • Numbness.
  • Tingling in the skin.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Shake.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Kidney damage, with symptoms such as:
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sed excess.
  • Do not do as much urine as usual.

How to know if the medicine is working?

The symptoms of your infection should improve or you will not get the infection you are trying to prevent.

What to do if I am traveling?

Always take the medication with you. When you fly, keep it in your handbag.

Do not worry about the airport X-ray machines. They can not harm the drug.

You may need to show the airport staff the Neomycin pharmacy label. Always carry the original container with the prescription label.

Do not put this medication in the glove compartment of your car or leave it in it.

Is there any alternative to Neomycin?

There are other medications available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others.

Talk to your doctor about other medication options that may work for you.