linezolid, Zyvox

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.


  • Tablets: 600 mg;
  • Powder for Oral Suspension: 100 mg/5 ml;
  • Injection Solution: 200, 400, and 600 mg


  • Linezoild is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). This means that linezolid blocks the breakdown of compounds that are normally broken down my monoamine oxidase enzymes. This increases the levels of these compounds in the body and can increase the risk of side effects. Linezolid should not be used by patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or within two weeks of taking an MAOI.
  • Linezolid should not be combined with antidepressants such as paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), amitriptyline, nortriptyline, bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban); pain medications like methadone, tramadol (Ultram), and meperidine (Demerol); dextromethorphan, St. John's Wort, cyclobenzaprine, and mirtazapine (Remeron). Such combinations lead to high serotonin levels which may cause confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, hyperactivity, coma, and death.
  • Linezolid should not be combined with pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. The combination of linezolid and these drugs can cause an acute hypertensive episode.
  • Monoamine oxidase also breaks down tyramine, a chemical present in aged cheese, wines, and other aged foods. Since linezolid inhibits monoamine oxidase, it decreases the breakdown of tyramine from ingested food, thus increasing the level of tyramine in the body. Excessive tyramine can elevate blood pressure and cause a hypertensive crisis. Patients treated with MAOIs and lInezolid should adhere to recommended dietary modifications that reduce the intake of tyramine.

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY:  Linezolid has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. It should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known whether linezolid is excreted in human milk.

STORAGE: Linezolid should be stored at room temperature 25 C (77 F). Infusion bags should be kept in its overwrap and prevented from freezing.


  • The recommended adult dose for treating pneumonia or complicated skin and skin structure infections is 600 mg orally or by intravenous infusion every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days.
  • Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections are treated with 400 to 600 mg orally every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days.
  • The dose for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infections is 600 mg orally or by intravenous infusion every 12 hours for 14 to 28 days.


  • Linezolid (Zyvox) is a synthetic antibiotic that is effective against bacteria such as Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and others.
  • It is effective against Staphylococcus aureus isolates that are resistant to other antibiotics.
  • Linezolid prevents bacteria from growing by interfering with their ability to make proteins. Because proteins are made differently in people and bacteria, linezolid does not interfere with production of proteins in humans.
  • The FDA approved linezolid in April, 2000.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/21/2016

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