By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Streptomycin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available. Avability: Rx Pregnancy Category: D


What is Streptomycin used for?

Streptomycin is used with other medications to treat active tuberculosis (TB) infection if you cannot take other drugs for TB or if you have a type of TB that cannot be treated with other drugs (drug-resistant TB). Streptomycin belongs to a class of drugs known as aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by killing the organisms that cause the infection.

This drug may also be used to treat other serious infections (e.g., Mycobacterium avium complex-MAC, tularemia, endocarditis, plague) along with other medications.

How should I take Streptomycin?

This medication is given by injection, usually into a muscle as directed by your doctor. When you start treatment for TB, it is usually given once a day or as directed by your doctor. It is important to change the location of the injection site daily to avoid problem areas under the skin. If you have any questions about using this medication properly, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Dosage is based on the kind of infection, your weight, medical condition, streptomycin blood levels, and side effects. How often you receive injections and the length of your treatment will depend on the type of infection you have and your response to treatment.

If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.

Medication to treat tuberculosis is usually used for 9 months or longer. After you receive streptomycin daily for 1 to 2 months, your doctor may direct you to receive this medication less often (e.g., 2 to 3 times a week). Your doctor may direct you to stop using this medication before stopping your other TB medications. It is very important to continue using streptomycin and your other medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not stop taking this medication (or other TB medicines/antibiotics) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may worsen side effects or make the infection (especially TB) more difficult to treat (resistant). If TB becomes resistant to this medication, it might also become resistant to other TB medications.

For the best effect, use this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. Be sure to keep all appointments for receiving this drug.

Tell your doctor right away if your infection symptoms return (e.g., fever, chills, body aches) while you are using this medication or after you stop using it.

How do I store Streptomycin?

Streptomycin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Streptomycin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Streptomycin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Streptomycin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Streptomycin?

Before using streptomycin injection, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g., tobramycin, gentamicin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, hearing problems, severe loss of body water (dehydration), a certain muscle problem (myasthenia gravis), burns over a large area of skin, cystic fibrosis.

Streptomycin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as BCG, typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because they may have decreased kidney function. Therefore, older adults may be more sensitive to the kidney and hearing side effects.

Streptomycin is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Streptomycin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Streptomycin. Streptomycin is pregnancy risk category D according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Streptomycin?

Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, or loss of appetite may occur. Pain/irritation/redness may occur at the injection site. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: muscle weakness, persistent diarrhea even after stopping this medication, easy bleeding/bruising, fast heartbeat, new signs of infections (e.g., high fever, persistent cough), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), unusual tiredness.

Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Streptomycin?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: amphotericin B, high doses of aspirin/NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen.

If your doctor has directed you to take low doses of aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue to take the aspirin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Although most antibiotics are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Streptomycin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Streptomycin?

Streptomycin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Streptomycin?

Streptomycin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Streptomycin.

What is the dose of Streptomycin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Moderate-Severe Infections

1-2 g/day IM divided q6-12hr; no more than 2 g/day

Usual Adult Dose for Tuberculosis

Daily therapy: 15 mg/kg IM qDay; no more than 1 g/day

Twice weekly therapy: 25-30 mg/kg IM 2 times/week; no more than 1.5 g/day

Usual Adult Dose for Tularemia

1-2 g IM in divided doses for 7-10 days or until patient is afebrile for 5-7 days

Usual Adult Dose for Plague

15 mg/kg IM q12hr for minimum 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Streptococcal Endocarditis

1 g IM q12hr for 7 days, THEN 500 mg q12hr for 7 days, concomitant with penicillin

If >60 years old, 500 mg q12hr for entire 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Enterococcal Endocarditis

1 g IM q12hr for 2 weeks, THEN 500 mg q12hr for 4 weeks, concomitant with penicillin

Usual Adult Dose for Brucellosis

1 g IM qDay/BID for 1 week, THEN qDay for 1 week in conjunction with doxycycline or tetracycline

Renal Impairment

Load: 1 g IM, THEN

CrCl: 50-80 mL/min: 7.5 mg/kg IM q24hr

CrCl: 10-50 mL/min: 7.5 mg/kg IM q24-72hr

CrCl <10 mL/min: 7.5 mg/kg IM q72-96hr

Hemodialysis: 50-75% of initial loading dose at end of dialysis period

What is the dose of Streptomycin for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Moderate to Severe Infections

20-40 mg/kg/day IM divided q6-12 hr

Usual Pediatric Dose for  Tuberculosis

Daily therapy: 20-40 mg/kg IM qDay; no more than 1 g/day

Twice wekly therapy: 20-40 mg/kg IM 2 times/week; no more than 1.5 g/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for  Plague

15 mg/kg IM q12hr for minimum 10 days; no more than 2 g/day

Usual Pediatric Dose for  Brucellosis

>8 years old: 20 mg/kg IM divided q12hr during 7-14 days of tetracycline or co-trimoxazole therapy; no more than 1 g/day

How is Streptomycin available?

Streptomycin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Powder for injection
  • Injectable solution

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Streptomycin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 9, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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