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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 1404-04-2
ATC code A01AB08 A07AA01, B05CA09, D06AX04, J01GB05, R02AB01, S01AA03, S02AA07, S03AA01
PubChem 8378
DrugBank APRD00013
Chemical data
Formula C23H46N6O13 
Mol. mass 614.644 g/mol
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Half life 2 to 3 hours
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status
Routes  ?

Neomycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic that is found in many topical medications such as creams, ointments and eyedrops.



Neomycin is overwhelmingly used as a topical preparation. It can also be given orally, where it is usually combined with other antibiotics. Neomycin is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and has been used as a preventative measure for hepatic encephalopathy and hypercholesterolemia. By killing bacteria in the intestinal tract, it keeps ammonia levels low and prevents hepatic encephalopathy, especially prior to GI surgery. It has also been used to treat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It is not given intravenously, as neomycin is extremely nephrotoxic (causes kidney damage), especially compared to other aminoglycosides. The exception to this, is when it is included in some vaccines as a preservative, but in very small quantities -typically 0.025 mg per dose[1].


Similar to other aminoglycosides, neomycin has excellent activity against Gram negative bacteria, and has partial activity against Gram positive bacteria. It is relatively toxic to humans, and some people have allergic reactions to it.[1] See: Hypersensitivity.


Neomycin was discovered in 1949 by the microbiologist Selman Waksman and his student Hubert Lechevalier. It is produced naturally by the bacterium Streptomyces fradiae.


  1. ^ DermNet dermatitis/neomycin-allergy
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Neomycin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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