THOUGH many new antibiotics have been found, the streptomycin series have not lost their importance. They are still one of the most effective remedies for all forms of tuberculosis. However, the use of streptomycin is limited by its additional neurotoxical and ototoxical affects. Such accompaniments were first described by Brown and Hinshaw.1 Since then, a great many clinical and experimental papers concerning the ototoxicity of basic streptomyces-antibiotics have been published.2-9
Electrophysiological experiments of Stange et al9 concerning the efficiency of streptomycin-sulfate on excitation and adaptation of the hair-cells in the organ of Corti, especially, proved that streptomycin injures the metabolism of the sensory cells in the ear. It affects the cellular membrane and restricts its reabsorption.5 The result is an accumulation of streptomycin in the sensory cells and, consequently, loss of function.
Experiments to reduce the ototoxic effect of streptomycin have been made for several years.
Holz E, Stange G, Soda T, Beck C. Decrease of Ototoxicity of Streptomycin Sulfate: Preliminary Communication of Animal Experiments. Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(4):359–363. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060361003
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