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Streptomycin (Streptomycin) - Indications and Dosage



Streptomycin is indicated for the treatment of individuals with moderate to severe infections caused by susceptibile strains of microorganisms in the specific conditions listed below:

  1. Mycobacterium tuberculosis: The Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis, the American Thoracic Society, and the Center for Disease Control recommend that either streptomycin or ethambutol be added as a fourth drug in a regimen containing isoniazid (INH), rifampin and pyrazinamide for initial treatment of tuberculosis unless the likelihood of INH or rifampin resistance is very low. The need for a fourth drug should be reassessed when the results of susceptibility testing are known. In the past when the national rate of primary drug resistance to isoniazid was known to be less than 4% and was either stable or declining, therapy with two and three drug regimens was considered adequate. If community rates of INH resistance are currently less than 4%, an initial treatment regimen with less than four drugs may be considered.                                                                                Streptomycin is also indicated for therapy of tuberculosis when one or more of the above drugs is contraindicated because of toxicity or intolerance. The management of tuberculosis has become more complex as a consequence of increasing rates of drug resistance and concomitant HIV infection. Additional consultation from experts in the treatment of tuberculosis may be desirable in those settings.

  2. Non-tuberculosis infections: The use of streptomycin should be limited to the treatment of infections caused by bacteria which have been shown to be susceptible to the antibacterial effects of streptomycin and which are not amenable to therapy with less potentially toxic agents.

      Pasteurella pestis (plague),

    1. Francisella tularensis (tularemia),

    2. Brucella,

    3. Calymmatobacterium granulomatis (donovanosis, granuloma inguinale),

    4. H. ducreyi (chancroid),

    5. H. influenzae (in respiratory, endocardial, and meningeal infections-concomitantly with another antibacterial agent),

    6. K. pneumoniae pneumonia (concomitantly with another antibacterial agent),

    7. E.coli, Proteus, A. aerogenes, K. pneumoniae, and Enterococcus faecalis in urinary tract infections,

    8. Streptococcus viridans, Enterococcus faecalis (in endocardial infections -concomitantly with penicillin),

    9. Gram-negative bacillary bacteremia (concomitantly with another antibacterial agent).

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of streptomycin and other antibacterial drugs, streptomycin should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.


Intramuscular Route Only

Adults: The preferred site is the upper outer quadrant of the buttock, (i.e., gluteus maximus), or the mid-lateral thigh.

Children: It is recommended that intramuscular injections be given preferably in the mid-lateral muscles of the thigh. In infants and small children the periphery of the upper outer quadrant of the gluteal region should be used only when necessary, such as in burn patients, in order to minimize the possibility of damage to the sciatic nerve.

The deltoid area should be used only if well developed such as in certain adults and older children, and then only with caution to avoid radial nerve injury. Intramuscular injections should not be made into the lower and mid-third of the upper arm. As with all intramuscular injections, aspiration is necessary to help avoid inadvertent injection into a blood vessel.

Injection sites should be alternated. As higher doses or more prolonged therapy with streptomycin may be indicated for more severe or fulminating infections (endocarditis, meningitis, etc.), the physician should always take adequate measures to be immediately aware of any toxic signs or symptoms occurring in the patient as a result of streptomycin therapy.

1.  TUBERCULOSIS: The standard regimen for the treatment of drug susceptible tuberculosis has been two months of INH, rifampin and pyrazinamide followed by four months of INH and rifampin (patients with concomitant infection with tuberculosis and HIV may require treatment for a longer period). When streptomycin is added to this regimen because of suspected or proven drug resistance (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE section), the recommended dosing for streptomycin is as follows:

  Daily Twice Weekly  Thrice Weekly
 Children  20-40 mg/kg  25-30 mg/kg  25-30 mg/kg
 Max 1 g  1.5 g 1.5 g
 Adults 15 mg/kg 25-30 mg/kg 25-30 mg/kg
 Max 1 g  1.5 g 1.5 g

Streptomycin is usually administered daily as a single intramuscular injection. A total dose of not more than 120 g over the course of therapy should be given unless there are no other therapeutic options. In patients older than 60 years of age the drug should be used at a reduced dosage due to the risk of increased toxicity. (See BOXED WARNING.)

Therapy with streptomycin may be terminated when toxic symptoms have appeared, when impending toxicity is feared, when organisms become resistant, or when full treatment effect has been obtained. The total period of drug treatment of tuberculosis is a minimum of 1 year; however, indications for terminating therapy with streptomycin may occur at any time as noted above.

2.  TULAREMIA: One to 2 g daily in divided doses for 7 to 14 days until the patient is afebrile for 5 to 7 days.

3.  PLAGUE: Two grams of streptomycin daily in two divided doses should be administered intramuscularly. A minimum of 10 days of therapy is recommended.


a. Streptococcal endocarditis; in penicillin-sensitive alpha and non-hemolytic streptococcal endocarditis (penicillin MIC < 0.1 mcg/mL), streptomycin may be used for 2-week treatment concomitantly with penicillin. The streptomycin regimen is 1 g b.i.d. for the first week, and 500 mg b.i.d. for the second week. If the patient is over  60 years of age, the dosage should be 500 mg b.i.d. for the entire 2- week period.

b. Enterococcal endocarditis: Streptomycin in doses of 1 g b.i.d. for 2 weeks and 500 mg b.i.d. for an additional 4 weeks is given in combination with penicillin. Ototoxicity may require termination of the streptomycin prior to completion of the 6-week course of treatment.

5.  CONCOMITANT USE WITH OTHER AGENTS: For concomitant use with other agents to which the infecting organism is also sensitive: Streptomycin is considered a secondline agent for the treatment of gram-negative bacillary bactermia, meningitis, and pneumonia; brucellosis; granuloma inguinale; chancroid, and urinary tract infection.

For adults: 1 to 2 grams in divided doses every six to twelve hours for moderate to severe infections. Doses should generally not exceed 2 grams per day.

For children: 20 to 40 mg/kg/day (8 to 20 mg/lb/day) in divided doses every 6 to 12 hours. (Particular care should be taken to avoid excessive dosage in children).

The dry lyophillized cake is dissolved by adding Water for Injection USP in an amount to yield the desired concentration as indicated in the following table:

Approx. Conc. mg/mL Volume (mL) of Solvent 
 200  4.2
 250  3.2
 400  1.8

Sterile reconstituted solutions should be protected from light and may be stored at room temperature for one week without significant loss of potency

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit


Streptomycin for Injection USP is available in single vials containing 1 gram NDC 39822-0706-1 packaged as boxes of ten vials NDC 39822-0706-2.


Store dry powder under controlled room temperature 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].


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