Gentamicin Nasal Irrigation 

By: Amber Hannah, Pharm.D. Candidate 2021 

 

Sinus irritation/congestion is an issue that many people face, either all the time or during certain times of the year. Being able to have a remedy or therapy to help with breathing normally is a relief to patients. People can have a better quality of life instead of worrying about how to breath efficiently through the nose. Many medications can go into a nasal irrigation system, and gentamicin is one of those medications.  

 

What is nasal irrigation? 

Nasal irrigation, also called a sinus flush, is a natural remedy that helps cleanse the nasal cavity of allergens, dust, and pollen to enhance breathing. It usually consists of boiled or distilled water and saline. Normally, this would be the only two ingredients used to make up the irrigation for use, but different medications are sometimes needed for extra relief. There are simple directions to help navigate what to do before completing the irrigation. 

 

What is gentamicin? 

Gentamicin is a potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic, known as an aminoglycoside, that fights bacteria. It is used to treat severe and serious bacterial infections.  

 

Antibiotic Nasal Irrigation vs. Oral Antibiotics  

Antibiotics are typically not used for sinus infections but are prescribed when a sinus infection lingers. Nasal irrigation and oral antibiotics only work if deemed to have a bacterial infection. If no bacterial infection, resistance can develop and increase risk of adverse effects. They both work efficiently when infection is present.   

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

  1. How do you use Gentamicin Nasal Irrigation? 
  1. Using a NeilMed kit and distilled water, add in 50 mL of gentamicin solution to the water and saline. Insert the bottle cap into the left and right nostril and rinse ½ of the solution into each side.   
  1. How often can you do nasal saline rinse? 
  1. Using a rinse once a day when needed helps cleanse out the cavity and relieve breathing.  
  1. What are side effects of gentamicin? 
  1. Gentamicin causes kidney and nerve damage, and hearing loss. It is contraindicated in pregnant patients because of teratogenicity. 
  1. Does nasal irrigation reach frontal sinuses? 
  1. No, typically only reaches the maxillary sinuses. Still a challenge for rhinologist. 
  1. What bacteria does gentamicin kill? 
  1. Gram negative bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae family, including Escherichia coliKlebsiella pneumoniae and K. oxytocaEnterobacter cloacae and E. aerogenesProvidencia spp., Proteus spp., Morganella spp., and Serratia spp)Page Break 

References 

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