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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ototoxicity induced by gentamicin and furosemide.

OBJECTIVE: To present a case of ototoxicity induced by furosemide and once-daily gentamicin therapy. CASE SUMMARY: A 60-year-old white woman presented to the hospital with community-acquired pneumonia and urinary tract infection. The antibiotic regimen included gentamicin and, after 5 doses, the patient reported profound bilateral hearing loss. A Pure Tone Audiogram suggested moderate to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally. The only risk factors present included her age, elevated temperature, and the use of furosemide. DISCUSSION: Several risk factors may predispose a patient to developing aminoglycoside ototoxicity: the 1555 chromosomal mutation, preexisting disorders of hearing and balance, hypovolemia, bacteremia, liver and renal dysfunction, and the simultaneous administration of other ototoxic medications. The cumulative dose and duration of aminoglycoside therapy are more important than serum concentrations. Administration of an aminoglycoside followed by furosemide may increase the risk of ototoxicity. The aminoglycoside interacts with the cell membranes in the inner ear, increasing their permeability. This theoretically allows the loop diuretic to penetrate into the cells in higher concentrations, causing more severe damage. CONCLUSIONS: Auditory toxicity occurred after only 5 days of gentamicin therapy and 1 dose of furosemide. An aminoglycoside followed by furosemide may increase the risk for ototoxicity. Clinicians need to be aware of the synergistic potential of ototoxic medications.[1]


  1. Ototoxicity induced by gentamicin and furosemide. Bates, D.E., Beaumont, S.J., Baylis, B.W. The Annals of pharmacotherapy. (2002) [Pubmed]
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