Adverse Effects of a Single Dose of Gentamicin in Adults: A Systematic Review

Rachel S Hayward, J Harding, R Molloy, L Land, K Longcroft-Neal, David Moore, J D C Ross

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36 Citations (Scopus)
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Systematically review the frequency and type of adverse events associated with a single dose of intravenous or intramuscular gentamicin in adults, for any indication, in studies where a comparator was available.


A review protocol was developed and registered (PROSPERO: CRD42013003229). Studies were eligible for review if they; recruited participants ≥16 years old, used gentamicin intramuscularly or intravenously as a single one-off dose, compared gentamicin to another medication or placebo, and if adverse events were monitored. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, trial registries, conference proceedings and other relevant databases were searched up to November 2016. Risk of bias was assessed on all included studies.


15,522 records were identified. After removal of duplicates, screening of title/abstracts for relevance and independent selection of full texts by two reviewers, 36 studies were included. 24,107 received a single one-off dose of gentamicin (doses ranged from 1mg/kg - 480mg per dose). Acute kidney injury was described in 2520 participants receiving gentamicin. The large majority of cases were reversible. There were no cases of ototoxicity reported in patients receiving gentamicin. A meta-analysis was not performed due to study heterogeneity.


A significant number of patients saw a transient rise in creatinine after a single dose of gentamicin at doses up to 480mg. Persistent renal impairment and other adverse events were relatively rare.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Early online date21 Sept 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Sept 2017


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