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To evaluate clinical efficacy data for gentamicin in the treatment of gonorrhea. A keyword search of PubMed (1966 to April 2020), EMBASE (1947 to April 2020), and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970 to April 2020) was conducted. The electronic search was supplemented with manual screening of references from identified articles and a search of to identify ongoing trials. Comparator and noncomparator studies reporting microbiological outcomes of treatment with gentamicin for gonorrhea in humans were included. Data extracted included study year, authors, aim, setting, population, dosing protocols, and outcome results. Risk of bias was assessed according to the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. A total of 407 articles were identified, of which 11 met inclusion criteria. Two studies were randomized controlled trials, and 1 additional randomized noncomparator study was identified. All other studies were nonrandomized and noncomparator in nature. The highest quality evidence suggests that gentamicin is not noninferior to ceftriaxone (both in addition to azithromycin) for treatment of gonorrhea but may achieve cure rates >90%. Conflicting evidence exists regarding the efficacy of gentamicin-based regimens for the specific treatment of extragenital gonorrhea. Results of this review could affect patient care and clinical practice because they clearly demonstrate the role of gentamicin for the treatment of gonorrhea as a second-line agent. Future research should confirm findings, especially for the role of gentamicin in extragenital infections. Gentamicin-based regimens should be reserved for second-line treatment of urogenital and extragenital gonorrhea infections.


Paul Burmeister, Simon Su, Alesha J Smith, Kyle John Wilby. The Use of Gentamicin for Treatment of Urogenital and Extragenital Gonorrhea: A Systematic Review of Efficacy Data. The Annals of pharmacotherapy. 2020 Oct;54(10):1030-1037

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PMID: 32436729

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