Aminoglycoside Toxicity: Daily versus Thrice-Weekly Dosing for Treatment of Mycobacterial Diseases

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Aminoglycoside use is limited by ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity. This study compared the incidences of toxicities associated with 2 recommended dosing regimens. Eighty-seven patients with tuberculosis or nontuberculous mycobacterial infections were prospectively randomized by drug to receive 15 mg/kg per day or 25 mg/kg 3 times per week of intravenous streptomycin, kanamycin, or amikacin. Doses were adjusted to achieve target serum concentrations. The size of the dosage and the frequency of administration were not associated with the incidences of ototoxicity (hearing loss determined by audiogram), vestibular toxicity (determined by the findings of a physical examination), or nephrotoxicity (determined by elevated serum creatinine levels). Risk of ototoxicity (found in 32 [37%] of the patients) was associated with older age and with a larger cumulative dose received. Vestibular toxicity (found in 8 [9%] of the patients) usually resolved, and nephrotoxicity (found in 13 [15%] of the patients) was mild and reversible in all cases. Subjective changes in hearing or balance did not correlate with objective findings. Streptomycin, kanamycin, and amikacin can be administered either daily or 3 times weekly without affecting the likelihood of toxicity.

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