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Kantrex (kanamycin) is a potent antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections, including tuberculosis. It is usually administered by injection, either intramuscularly or intravenously, either with a syringe or an IV line.

Use of Kantrex varies by location. In some areas it is the first-line treatment for certain infections; in others it is rarely preferred. The medication is highly effective against:

  • Proteus species
  • Acinetobacter species
  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Serratia marcescens
  • Escherichia coli

It is less effective against, but is still sometimes used to treat, infections from:

  • Staphylococcus species

Kantrex may also be administered, along with other antibiotics like penicillin, when the offending organism is unknown. This is usually done in scenarios where identifying the bacteria is delayed for some reason. In the majority of situations the bacteria will ideally be identified prior to starting treatment, to ensure the most effective medication is used.

This medication can be used in all ages, including infants and the elderly, but it is not without risks. Children, the elderly, and patients with renal (kidney) disorders should consult a doctor prior to use; modified dosing will almost certainly be required, and increased monitoring for developing side effects may be desirable.

Administrating Kantrex

Kantrex should be injected into the muscle, usually the upper outer quadrant of the gluteal muscle, or intravenously. For intravenous use the medication should be diluted with saline or a similar solution, and each dose should be administered slowly, over 30 to 60 minutes.

In patients without renal impairment dosage is usually determined by weight:

  • 15 mg of Kantrex per each kg of body weight, up to 1.5 g per day.
  • Never exceed 1.5 g per day.

Once the total daily dosage has been determined, it is divided into two, three, or four doses administered at evenly-distributed intervals per day. For example, a 55 kg adult should receive a total daily dose of 825 mg; this should be divided into at least two daily doses of 412.5 mg each, administered 12 hours apart.

Many patients notice an improvement with the first dose, though for others it may take 24 to 48 hours before effects are noticeable. If no improvement is seen or felt after 72 hours from the first dose, alternative medications will likely be needed; the bacteria is likely not susceptible. Seeking medical attention would be best.

Treatment with Kantrex is typically 7 to 10 days. Patients usually feel fine before then; treatment should continue to the end regardless, to avoid contributing to resistant bacteria. If a patient is not quite fully better by the 10-day mark treatment may continue a little longer, but this is inadvisable without doctor input.

Use of Kantrex to treat tuberculosis is disputed, as treatment is typically longer than 7 to 10 days. Some patients can handle it, while others will develop serious side effects. In general longer treatment should not be attempted without doctor involvement.

Potential Complications

While most patients use Kantrex with no serious issues, a small percentage do develop serious side effects. Young children and elderly patients are more likely to encounter complications, as are those with renal impairment.

Serious side effects include:

  • Hearing damage
  • Vertigo
  • Kidney damage

The above can be caught early if monitored for, which can only be done with access to a laboratory and other testing equipment; in other words, a doctor. If the above are detected dosage will be reduced or another antibiotic tried. If the above are not detected and allowed to continue, they may become permanent.

Kantrex should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Numerous other medications may interact with Kantrex. Diuretics should not be used during treatment. Always double-check with a doctor or pharmacist before mixing treatments, even over-the-counter medications and supplements.

Kantrex/Kanamac Injection

500mg kanamycin  Buy Kantrex 10 Vials - $14.99
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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Kanamac Injection / kanamycin
500mg - 10 Vials $14.99 USD

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