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Vancomycin Injection

Generic Name: Vancomycin Injection (van koe MYE sin)

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018

Uses of Vancomycin Injection:

Injection (I.V.):

  • It is used to treat bacterial infections.

If given by mouth:

  • It is used to treat diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection called Clostridium difficile (C diff).
  • It is used to treat a type of bowel infection.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Vancomycin Injection?

  • If you have an allergy to vancomycin or any other part of vancomycin injection.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take vancomycin injection with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Vancomycin Injection?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take vancomycin injection. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • You may need to have hearing tests while you use vancomycin injection. Talk with the doctor.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • This medicine is not approved for injection into the eye. Eye problems, including long-lasting loss of eyesight, have happened when vancomycin injection was given into the eye.
  • If you are 65 or older, use vancomycin injection with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using vancomycin injection while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Vancomycin Injection) best taken?

Use vancomycin injection as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Injection (I.V.):

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

If given by mouth:

  • Take with or without food.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking vancomycin injection as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with vancomycin injection. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure vancomycin injection.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Injection (I.V.):

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

If given by mouth:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

For all uses of vancomycin injection:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Flushing.
  • Pain when passing urine.
  • Very bad kidney problems may happen while you are taking vancomycin injection or after you stop taking it. The risk may be greater in older adults. Tell your doctor right away if you are unable to pass urine or if there is a change in the amount of urine passed.
  • This medicine may cause hearing loss that may not go away. The chance may be higher if you use vancomycin injection for a long time. Do not use vancomycin injection longer than you have been told by your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have a change in hearing or hearing loss.

Injection (I.V.):

  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • During the infusion, a rash on the face, neck, trunk, and arms.
  • This medicine may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.
  • It is common to have diarrhea when taking vancomycin injection. Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking vancomycin injection or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.

If given by mouth:

  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.

What are some other side effects of Vancomycin Injection?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

For all uses of vancomycin injection:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Belly pain.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).

If given by mouth:

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Vancomycin Injection?

  • If you need to store vancomycin injection at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about vancomycin injection, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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