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Vancomycin IV Precautions and Side Effects


IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

Table of Contents

Generic Name: VANCOMYCIN - INJECTION
Pronounced: (VAN-koe-MYE-sin)

Vancomycin IV Precautions

Before using vancomycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • kidney problems
  • hearing problems

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at a greater risk for hearing or kidney problems while using this drug.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Vancomycin IV Side Effects

If this medication is injected too fast, a condition known as "red man syndrome" may occur. Tell your doctor promptly if you have symptoms such as flushing of the upper body, dizziness, low blood pressure, or muscle pain/spasms of the chest and back.

Pain, redness, and tenderness at the injection site may occur. These effects may be reduced by injecting this medication more slowly. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • ringing in the ears
  • hearing problems
  • change in the amount of urine
  • easy bleeding/bruising
  • fever
  • persistent sore throat
  • persistent diarrhea

Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.



CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Information last revised September 2011 Copyright(c) 2011 First DataBank, Inc.