Kanamycin A, often referred to simply as kanamycin, is an antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections and tuberculosis. It is not a first line treatment. It is used by mouth, injection into a vein, or injection into a muscle. Kanamycin is recommended for short-term use only, usually from 7 to 10 days. As with most antibiotics, it is ineffective in viral infections.
Common side effects include hearing and balance problems. Kidney problems may also occur. Kanamycin is not recommended during pregnancy as it may harm the baby. It is likely safe during breastfeeding. Kanamycin is in the aminoglycoside family of medications. It works by blocking the production of proteins that are required for bacterial survival.
Kanamycin was first isolated in 1957 by Hamao Umezawa from the bacterium Streptomyces kanamyceticus. It was removed from the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines in 2019. It is no longer marketed in the United States.