Genticin eye/ear drops (Gentamicin)

How does it work?

Genticin eye/ear drops contain the active ingredient gentamicin, which is a type of medicine called an aminoglycoside antibiotic. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

Gentamicin works by affecting the bacteria's production of certain proteins that are necessary for their survival. It causes the bacteria to produce abnormal and faulty proteins. This ultimately kills the bacteria and clears up the infection.

Genticin eye/ear drops are used to treat bacterial infections of the eye (such as conjunctivitis), or the outer part of the ear canal (bacterial otitis externa). Putting the drops directly into the eye or ear allows the antibiotic to act directly on the bacteria that are causing the infection.

What is it used for?

  • Bacterial infections of the ears, for example otitis externa or otitis media.
  • Bacterial infections of the eyes, for example bacterial conjunctivitis.
  • Preventing bacterial infection following injury to an eye or ear.


  • These drops are for use in the eyes or ears only and must not be taken by mouth.
  • You should not wear contact lenses while using Genticin drops to treat an eye infection.
  • When used in the eye, Genticin drops may cause your vision to blur temporarily after you have applied them into your eye. Do not drive or operate machinery until this has worn off.
  • Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it is important that you finish the prescribed course of this antibiotic medicine, even if it seems the infection has cleared up. Stopping the course early increases the chance that the infection will come back and that the bacteria will grow resistant to the antibiotic.
  • Do not use Genticin drops for longer than prescribed by your doctor.
  • Seek medical advice immediately if your symptoms get worse at any point during treatment, or if you think you have a new infection.
  • Genticin drops are sterile until opened. Any remaining medicine should be carefully disposed of four weeks after the first opening, as it is likely to be contaminated with germs. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle.

Use with caution in

  • Elderly people.
  • Decreased kidney function.
  • Decreased liver function.

Not to be used in

  • Ear infections in people with a perforated eardrum (due to increased risk of hearing damage - however some specialists do use these ear drops cautiously in people with a perforated eardrum if the infection has not cleared up using other medicines).

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • This medicine should be used with caution during pregnancy, and only if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the developing baby. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
  • The safety of this medicine for use during breastfeeding has not been established. However, the medicine is unlikely to pass into breast milk in significant amounts after application to the eye or ear. The manufacturer states that it should be used with caution during breastfeeding, and only if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the nursing infant. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and are prescribed these drops to use in your eye, you can minimise the amount of medicine that the baby is exposed to by pressing on the tear duct while putting in the eye drops, and for a few minutes after. This reduces the amount of medicine that is absorbed into the bloodstream and thus passes to the baby via the placenta or in your breast milk. The tear duct is at the corner of the eye closest to your nose.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Irritation.
  • Itching.
  • Burning sensation.
  • Stinging sensation.
  • Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis).
  • Sensitisation or allergic reactions.
  • Hearing loss.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.

If you are using more than one type of eye drop you should administer them at least five minutes apart, to prevent the second drop washing away the first. Use eye gels or ointments last.

There may be some absorption of gentamicin into the bloodstream when it is used as an eye drop. Absorption of gentamicin after application to the ear is less likely to occur.

There may be an increased risk of side effects on the ear (such as hearing or balance problems) if this medicine is used in combination with the following medicines:

  • capreomycin
  • cisplatin
  • loop diuretics such as furosemide and etacrynic acid
  • teicoplanin
  • vancomycin.

There may be an increased risk of side effects on the kidneys if this medicine is used in combination with the following medicines:

  • amphotericin
  • capreomycin
  • cephalosporin antibiotics, eg cephaloridine
  • ciclosporin
  • cisplatin
  • colistin
  • polymixin
  • tacrolimus
  • teicoplanin
  • vancomycin.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Cidomycin injection Genticin injection