Vancomycin Antibiotic: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects

VANCOMYCIN is a glycopeptide antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Vancocin, VANCOSOL

Vancomycin Antibiotic

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • dehydration
  • hearing loss
  • kidney disease
  • other chronic illness
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vancomycin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is infused into a vein. It is usually given by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic.

If you receive this medicine at home, you will receive special instructions. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for even very young infants for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • amphotericin B
  • anesthetics
  • bacitracin
  • birth control pills
  • cisplatin
  • colistin
  • diuretics
  • other aminoglycoside antibiotics
  • polymyxin B

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care provider if your symptoms do not improve or if you get new symptoms. Your condition and lab work will be monitored while you are taking this medicine.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing difficulty, wheezing
  • change in amount, color of urine
  • change in hearing
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • fever, chills
  • flushing of the face and neck (reddening)
  • low blood pressure
  • rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • nausea, vomiting
  • pain, swelling where injected
  • stomach cramps

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

You will be instructed on how to store this medicine, if needed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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