vancomycin

vancomycin

Pronunciation: VAN koe MYE sin

Brand: Vancocin HCl Pulvules

What is the most important information I should know about vancomycin?

Before using vancomycin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have kidney disease, problems with your hearing, or an intestinal disorder such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis.

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Vancomycin can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any hearing problems or ringing in your ears.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your hearing will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

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Take this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Vancomycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

What is vancomycin?

Vancomycin is an antibiotic. It fights bacteria in the body.

Vancomycin is used to treat infections of the intestines that cause colitis (inflammation of the large intestine).

Vancomycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using vancomycin?

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Do not take this medication if you are allergic to vancomycin.

To make sure you can safely take vancomycin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease,
  • hearing problems; or
  • an intestinal disorder such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis.
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FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether vancomycin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

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Vancomycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take vancomycin?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Vancomycin can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your hearing will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

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Take the oral medicine with a full glass of water.

Vancomycin should be taken at evenly spaced intervals.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

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Take this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Vancomycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

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Store vancomycin capsules at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.

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Store vancomycin oral liquid in the refrigerator, but do not allow it to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using vancomycin?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking vancomycin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

What are the possible side effects of vancomycin?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Stop using vancomycin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • hearing loss, ringing in your ears;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • skin rash, redness, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • back pain; or
  • muscle pain or tightness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect vancomycin?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • amikacin (Amikin);
  • gentamicin (Garamycin);
  • kanamycin (Kantrex);
  • neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo-Fradin, Neo-Tab);
  • streptomycin; or
  • tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with vancomycin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about vancomycin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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