Amikin (known generically as amikacin) is a type of antibiotic prescribed to patients who suffer from cystic fibrosis (among other conditions) as a treatment for bacterial infections. Patients with the inherited and chronic disease of CF have a higher propensity to bacterial infections due to the abnormal function of their lungs and pancreas, which result in an excessive production of thick and sticky mucus. The antibiotic is used not only in the treatment, but also the prevention of many types of bacterial infections.
Amikin belongs to a class of drugs known as amino glycoside antibiotics, and is commercialized in the United States by the company Apothecon. Despite the fact that Amikin is not produced for patients with cystic fibrosis alone, it is a viable option for those with the disease, and since lung infections are common among CF patients, antibiotics are used to fight or control infection-causing bacteria.
History of Amikin
The U.S. FDA approved the commercialization of Amikin by Apothecon in 1981, after the presentation of pharmacokinetic studies in normal adult subjects, which demonstrated the mean serum half-life to be slightly over two hours with a mean total apparent volume of distribution of 24 liters, the equivalent to 28 percent of the body weight. Amikacin sulfate is a semi-synthetic aminoglycoside antibiotic derived from kanamycin studied by the company and presented as a sterile, colorless to light straw-colored solution for IM or IV use, with a recommended dosage of 100 mg per 2 mL vial per each mL 50 mg amikacin (as the sulfate), 0.13 percent sodium bisulfite, and 0.5 percent sodium citrate dihydrate with pH adjusted to 4.5 with sulfuric acid.
How Amikin works
Amino glycoside antibiotic Amikin has been proven effective in fighting a wide variety of bacterial infections by stopping the growth of bacteria. The antibiotic is administered intravenously and the dosage is defined according to the patient and condition. “A single daily dose of amikacin 35 mg/kg by IV infusion over 30 minutes in 18 cystic fibrosis patients achieved mean serum peak and trough concentrations of 121.4 mg/L ( 37.3) and 0.88 mg/L ( 0.62), respectively. (…) An increase in the body clearance of amikacin and a decrease in the volume of distribution according to age were observed,” explain the authors of the 1997 study “Pharmacokinetics and bronchial diffusion of single daily dose amikacin in cystic fibrosis patients.”
Other details about Amikin
Patients may receive an Amikin injection from a doctor or nurse practitioner, or learn to inject the antibiotic themselves. The medication is injected into a vein or muscle, according to a physician’s recommendations, and the treatment is not meant to take longer than 14 days, since the safety of longer treatment has not been studied. In order to define the dosage needed by each patient, the doctor may request laboratory tests such as kidney function and levels of drug in the blood. In addition, patients need to be under close clinical observation due to the potential ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity associated with its use. Additional side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset or loss of appetite, as well as pain, irritation or redness at the injection site (which is particularly rare).
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