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Lyphocin Side Effects

Generic Name: vancomycin

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of vancomycin. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Lyphocin.

For the Consumer

Applies to vancomycin: oral capsule, oral powder for solution, oral powder for suspension

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by vancomycin (the active ingredient contained in Lyphocin). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking vancomycin:

More common:
  • Bladder pain
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • convulsions
  • decreased urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • dry mouth
  • fever
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • rapid weight gain
  • shortness of breath
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
Less common:
  • Change in the frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • difficulty with breathing
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • Hives
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • scaling or welting of the skin
  • skin rash
Incidence not known:
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • confusion
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling of fullness in the ears
  • hearing loss
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • loss of balance
  • lower back or side pain
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • sensation of spinning
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with vancomycin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • back pain
  • bitter or unpleasant taste
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • headache
  • mouth irritation
  • passing gas
Incidence not known:
  • Depression
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to vancomycin: compounding powder, intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution, oral capsule, oral powder for reconstitution, oral solution


The most commonly reported side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, and hypokalemia.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 17%), abdominal pain (up to 15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence
Frequency not reported: Clostridium difficile colitis/pseudomembranous colitis, constipation, chemical peritonitis, indigestion, stomach ache, mild gastrointestinal tract disturbances[Ref]

Chemical peritonitis occurred with intraperitoneal administration.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypokalemia (up to 13%)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nephrotoxicity, renal impairment, increased blood creatinine
Frequency not reported: Renal failure, interstitial nephritis, azotemia, uremia, acute kidney injury, transient increased urea and granular urinary casts[Ref]

Renal failure was most commonly characterized by increased serum creatinine of blood urea nitrogen levels.

Azotemia usually resolved upon discontinuation of treatment.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia, fatigue
Frequency not reported: Non-susceptible organism overgrowth, pain, superinfection
Postmarketing reports: Ototoxicity, hearing loss, tinnitus, drug fever, chills[Ref]


Hypotension, bradycardia, cardiogenic shock, and cardiac arrest have occurred with rapid bolus administration.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Peripheral edema
Frequency not reported: Hypotension, bradycardia, cardiogenic shock, cardiac arrest, phlebitis, palpitations, substernal pressure, tachycardia, generalized flushing, thrombophlebitis
Postmarketing reports: Vasculitis, chest pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain
Frequency not reported: Rigor
Postmarketing reports: Neck pain, chest and back muscle spasm[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache
Postmarketing reports: Vertigo, dizziness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anemia, reversible neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, reversible agranulocytosis, leukopenia
Postmarketing reports: Eosinophilia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Linear IgA bullous dermatosis, bullous eruption disorders, erythematous macular rash with intense pruritus over face, neck, and upper body
Postmarketing reports: Rash, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria, pruritus/itch, erythema, upper body flushing/red neck/Red Man Syndrome[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Injection site inflammation, tissue irritation, necrosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactoid reaction, hypersensitivity reactions
Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Insomnia, depression[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Transaminase elevations[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Wheezing, dyspnea[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS)[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Vancocin (vancomycin)." Lilly, Eli and Company, Indianapolis, IN.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Not all side effects for Lyphocin may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.