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Generic Name: Vancomycin Injection (van-koe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Vancocin

Vancomycin is used for:

Treating or preventing serious or severe bacterial infections.

Vancomycin is an antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use Vancomycin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Vancomycin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Vancomycin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Vancomycin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems, colitis or other inflammation of the bowel, or hearing problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Vancomycin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amphotericin B, aminoglycosides (eg, tobramycin), bacitracin, cisplatin, colistin, polymyxin B, or viomycin because risk of side effects, such as kidney toxicity or hearing loss, may be increased
  • Methotrexate because the actions and side effects may be increased by Vancomycin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Vancomycin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Vancomycin :

Use Vancomycin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Vancomycin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor"s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Vancomycin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Vancomycin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • To clear up your infection completely, continue using Vancomycin for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Vancomycin , use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Vancomycin .

Important safety information:

  • Vancomycin is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Long-term or repeated use of Vancomycin may cause a second infection. Your doctor may want to change your medicine to treat the second infection. Contact your doctor if signs of a second infection occur.
  • It is important to use Vancomycin for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of Vancomycin and increase the risk that the bacteria will no longer be sensitive to Vancomycin and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antibiotics in the future.
  • If severe diarrhea, stomach pain/cramps, or bloody stools occur, contact your doctor immediately. This could be a symptom of a serious side effect requiring immediate medical attention. Do not treat diarrhea without consulting your doctor.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Vancomycin .
  • LAB TESTS, including hearing tests, kidney function tests, and blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Vancomycin with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Vancomycin with extreme caution in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is unknown if Vancomycin can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking Vancomycin , discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Vancomycin during pregnancy. Vancomycin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Vancomycin .

Possible side effects of Vancomycin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. When used in small doses, no COMMON side effects have been reported with this product. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; chest pain; decrease in the frequency of urination or in the amount of urine; fever, chills, or sore throat; flushing; irritation, pain, or swelling at the injection site; numbness of an arm or leg; red, swollen, or blistered skin; ringing in the ears or sudden loss of hearing; severe diarrhea; severe stomach pain; sudden leg pain; sudden severe dizziness, nausea, headache, or vomiting; sudden shortness of breath; unusual bruising or bleeding; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Vancomycin :

Vancomycin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Vancomycin at home, store Vancomycin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Vancomycin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Vancomycin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Vancomycin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Where can I get more information about Vancomycin ? We recommend to use

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