Aminoglycoside-induced nephrotoxicity

J Pharm Pract. 2014 Dec;27(6):573-7. doi: 10.1177/0897190014546836. Epub 2014 Sep 7.


Aminoglycosides are among the oldest antibiotics available to treat serious infections caused by primarily, Gram-negative bacteria. The most commonly utilized parenteral agents in this class include gentamicin, tobramycin and amikacin. Aminoglycosides are concentration-dependent, bactericidal agents that undergo active transport into the cell where they inhibit protein synthesis on the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome. As the use of aminoglycosides became more widespread, the toxic effects of these agents, most notably ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity, became more apparent. When other, safer, antimicrobial agents became available, the use of aminoglycosides sharply declined. The development of multi-drug resistance among bacteria has now lead clinicians to reexamine the role of the aminoglycosides in the treatment of serious infections. This review will revisit the mechanism and risk factors for the development of aminoglycoside-induced nephrotoxicity, as well as strategies to prevent patients from developing nephrotoxicity.

Keywords: Aminoglycoside; Dosing; Nephrotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amikacin / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Gentamicins / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Tobramycin / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gentamicins
  • Amikacin
  • Tobramycin