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Aminoglycosides are a broad-spectrum class of antibiotics mostly produced by fungi that are the standard treatment for serious infections caused by Gram-negative aerobic bacteria. They contain an amino sugar and amino- or guanido-substituted inositol rings attached to hexose by a glycosidic bond. The most commonly used aminoglycosides include streptomycin, gentamicin, neomicin, netilmicin, amikacin, kanamycin, framycetin and tobramycin. Their activity is based on their irreversible binding to the 16S rRNA of the 30S ribosomal subunit.

Spectrum of activity

Although they can be used to treat Gram-positive bacteria, other treatments are favored. They are generally not effective against anaerobic bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Drug toxicity

Nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity are associated with their use.


The Sarrubi and Hull nomogram can help guide dosing.[1]


  1. Hull JH, Sarubbi FA (1976). "Gentamicin serum concentrations: pharmacokinetic predictions.". Ann Intern Med 85 (2): 183-9. PMID 942138.