Vancomycin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Vancomycin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Vancomycin?

Vancomycin is an antibiotic medication that explicitly targets gram-positive bacteria responsible for a wide range of infections. It is available as oral formulations or intravenous solutions. It is one of the few antibiotics that successfully works on bacteria highly resistant to other antibiotics. For this reason, the use of vancomycin is limited to the treatment of serious bacterial infections. It is available under the brand name Vancocin.

What are the uses of vancomycin?

Vancomycin is one of the strongest antibiotics used against bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Vancomycin, in its oral formulations, is used for the treatment of serious bacterial intestinal infections. Vancomycin has been successfully used to treat enterocolitis, pseudomembranous colitis, and other types of bacterial intestinal infections. The drug acts on the intestinal bacterial to stop their growth. Vancomycin can also be administered intravenously to fight skin, bone, and joint infections.

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What are the side effects of vancomycin?

Vancomycin can have a variety of side effects. The drug can induce vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain very commonly. Apart from the gastrointestinal side effects, vancomycin can also induce tinnitus or the sensation of ringing sounds in the ears. It can reduce urination or produce black urine as its side effect on the kidney. Vancomycin can also lower body potassium levels causing complications such as heart flutter, cramps, and constipation.


Frequently Asked Questions about Vancomycin

1. How long does vancomycin stay in your body?

Vancomycin is primarily eliminated through the kidneys. Therefore, the drug keeps reducing its concentration to half every 4-6 hours in people with functional kidneys. However, in people with kidney problems, the drug’s half-life may increase up to a week. Get in touch with our medical experts to get your vancomycin correctly dosed.

2. How to dose vancomycin?

Vancomycin is usually dosed by the doctor prescribing the medication. Usually, the dose is based on the age and weight of the person. More than 2000 mg of vancomycin daily is the maximum allowed dose. Usually, vancomycin is administered in 250 mg doses taken four times a day for a period of 10 days.

3. Is vancomycin penicillin?

Vancomycin is not penicillin. Moreover, Vancomycin is considered an alternative antibiotic medication for patients who are allergic to penicillin. Both vancomycin and penicillin are antibiotic agents, but they have different binding sites on the bacteria. In other words, they work in different ways to stop bacterial growth.

4. How does vancomycin work against MRSA?

MRSA is a group of highly resistant bacteria that are unaffected by all types of penicillins. However, these bacteria are still highly susceptible to vancomycin which can stop their growth by weakening their cell wall structures. Overuse of vancomycin is increasing vancomycin resistance in these bacteria as well.

5. Which antibiotic is stronger than Vancomycin?

It is incorrect to categorise any antibiotic as stronger than the others because each antibiotic has its mode of action and susceptible bacteria. Vancomycin can be considered one of the strongest because it acts on highly resistant bacteria such as MRSA. Other antibiotics such as telavancin, linezolid, and chloramphenicol can be used to treat infections when vancomycin fails.

6. What does vancomycin do?

Vancomycin stops the growth of gram-positive bacteria. It does so by inhibiting the cross-linking between the structural units of the bacterial cell wall. This results in the weakening of the structural integrity of the bacteria, ultimately leading to death. Contact our medical experts to gain more knowledge about vancomycin.

7. Can vancomycin treat UTI?

Yes. vancomycin is excreted unchanged in the urine. Therefore, it can be used for the treatment of various UTIs. However, vancomycin is usually not the first-line agent considered for the treatment. It is mainly used to treat intestinal infections. Get help from our medical experts for your treatment.

8. Is vancomycin a strong antibiotic?

Yes. vancomycin is considered to be a potent antibiotic. Its clinical use is limited to the treatment of serious bacterial infections which are resistant to other drugs such as MRSA. Exercise proper precautions while using the drug and carefully monitor the dosages and side effects to reap full benefits.

9. Can vancomycin damage the kidneys?

Yes. Poorly monitored vancomycin dosages can lead to kidney damage. In the initial phases, it might manifest as changes in the amount or colour of the urine. It can also result in swelling of the body or pain in the lower back due to fluid retention from kidney damage. Get help from our experts to monitor your side effects.

10. Can vancomycin damage the heart?

Yes. vancomycin can cause damage to the heart as one of its side effects. It can reduce body potassium levels which can trigger arrhythmias or heart flutters. One of the rare, life-threatening complications of the drug is congestive heart failure. To use the drug more safely, get expert opinions from our expert doctors.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.