vancomycin (injection)

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Pronunciation: VAN koe MYE sin

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

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What is vancomycin?

Vancomycin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Vancomycin injection is used to treat severe infections that are resistant to certain other antibiotics. Vancomycin is also used to treat serious infections in people who are allergic to penicillin.

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

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

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to vancomycin.

To make sure vancomycin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an allergy to corn products;
  • kidney disease;
  • hearing problems; or
  • if you are receiving any IV antibiotics.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Vancomycin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use vancomycin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Vancomycin is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Vancomycin must be injected slowly, over at least 60 minutes. Injecting this medicine too fast can cause serious side effects.

Do not mix vancomycin with any other injectable medicines in the same container or IV.

Tell your doctor if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when vancomycin is injected.

Each single-use container of vancomycin is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

While using vancomycin, you may need frequent medical tests to check your kidney function. Your hearing may also need to be checked.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using vancomycin.

Use 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 flu or a common cold.

How you store this medicine at home may depend on how the medicine is mixed before you receive it. Storage could also depend on the type of container the medicine is provided in.

After vancomycin is mixed, it must be used within a certain number of hours or days. Read and carefully follow the storage instructions provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If you store vancomycin in a refrigerator, do not allow it to freeze. You may take the medicine out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature for 30 minutes before injecting your dose.

Do not use vancomycin if the solution has changed colors or looks cloudy. Call your pharmacist for new medication.

If you receive vancomycin in a frozen solution, store the medicine in a freezer. At least 1 hour before you give the injection, take the medicine out of the freezer and allow it to thaw in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not thaw vancomycin in a microwave or under hot water. Do not refreeze the medicine after it has been thawed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

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, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Levomilnacipran the possible side effects of vancomycin?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • itching, rash, wheezing, trouble breathing;
  • pain or tight feeling in your back or chest;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling) especially in your neck;
  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
  • hearing loss, ringing in your ears; or
  • signs of a kidney problem --blood in your urine, little or no urinating, drowsiness, rapid weight gain.

Side effects on the kidneys may be more likely in older adults using this medicine.

Common side effects may include:

  • swelling or bruising where the medicine was injected.

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?

Vancomycin can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including: antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Other drugs may interact with vancomycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or 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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