Vancomycin is an antibiotic for treating severe bacterial infections that are not treated by other antibiotics or that occur in patients who are allergic to penicillin.

Vancomycin can be used to treat infections of the heart, skin, bones and lungs. These antibiotics are usually given by doctors to treat severe infections, such as infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( MRSA ) or infections that cause sepsis .

Vancomycin works by killing and preventing the growth of bacteria that cause infection. Please note, this drug cannot be used to treat infections due to viruses, such as the flu .

Vancomycin trademarks: Vancep, Vancodex, Vancomycin Hydrochloride

What is Vancomycin

class Prescription drug
Category Antibiotics
Benefit Treating severe bacterial infections (sepsis or MRSA) that other antibiotics don't treat.
Used by Adults and children
Vancomycin for pregnant and lactating women Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Vancomycin can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medication without telling your doctor.

Drug form  Inject

Warning Before Using Vancomycin

Before using vancomycin, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • Do not use vancomycin if you are allergic to this drug. Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have, especially allergies to products made from corn.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had or currently have congestive heart failure, kidney disease , or hearing loss.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness immediately after you have received vancomycin, because this drug can cause dizziness.
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to have any immunizations or vaccinations while on treatment with vancomycin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking vancomycin before having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy. Use effective birth control while taking vancomycin.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effects, or overdose after using vancomycin.

Dosage and Rules for Use Vancomycin

Vancomycin will be given by infusion by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor. The dosage and duration of drug administration are adjusted to the patient's condition, body weight and response to treatment. The following are common doses for using vancomycin:

  • Adult: 500 mg every 6 hours, or 1 g every 12 hours.
  • Children ≥1 month of age: 10 mg/kg every 6 hours.

How to Use Vancomycin Properly

Vancomycin is available as an injectable liquid which is given by slow drip (approximately 1 hour) infusion. This medicine will be given directly by a doctor or by a medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

While undergoing treatment with vancomycin, your doctor may ask you to have regular kidney function tests, liver function tests, or blood tests to monitor your body's response to the drug.

In addition, the doctor may do a hearing test because vancomycin can cause side effects in the form of hearing loss.

Vancomycin Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are interaction effects that can occur if vancomycin is used with certain drugs:

  • Increased risk of hearing loss or impaired kidney function when used with aminoglycosides , amphotericin B, bacitracin, polymyxin B , viomycin, cisplatin , loop diuretics or NSAIDs
  • Increased effectiveness of muscle relaxants, such as suxamethonium or vecuronium
  • Increased risk of side effects from anesthetic drugs

Vancomycin Side Effects and Dangers

Side effects that can occur after using vancomycin are:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Hot feeling in the upper body
  • Dizzy
  • Pain or muscle cramps in the chest or back

Check with your doctor if these side effects don't go away or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience  an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as:

  • Swelling of the eyes, face, throat, tongue or lips
  • Dizzy or feeling like you might pass out
  • Diarrhea or bloody stools
  • Pain or tightness in the back or chest
  • Ringing ears or hearing loss
  • Small amount of urine or infrequent urination
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