Gentamicin is an antibiotic recently shown to reduce the risk of developing deafness according to a Stanford Medicine study. The antibiotic was used a variety of bacterial infections and is a popular drug in developing countries.
"When a drug causes hearing loss, it is devastating, and it's especially disturbing when it happens to a young child, as they rely on hearing to acquire speech," said Alan Cheng, MD, a professor of otolaryngology at the Stanford School of Medicine.
The study found that re-formulating the drug that originally belongs to a class of antibiotics known as aminoglycosides.
"What this study shows is that the formulation that is currently in a hospital bottle of gentamicin is not optimized," Ricci said.
"If we just use the subtype that's less toxic or change the formulation of this bottle, we can make the drug much less ototoxic. This discovery lays the groundwork for the discovery of safer antibiotic alternatives and future drug development.”
Findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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Source: Science Daily