tigecycline, Tygacil

  • 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 and Pharmacy 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.

What is tigecycline, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Tigecycline is an injectable antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by susceptible bacteria. Tigecycline is similar to tetracycline antibiotics and has activity against a large number of bacteria. Tigecycline binds to bacterial ribosomes which produce the cell's proteins. The binding prevents bacterial ribosomes from producing important proteins needed for bacterial growth and multiplication. Tigecycline prevents bacteria from multiplying, but it does not kill bacteria. Tigecycline was approved by the FDA in June 2005.

What brand names are available for tigecycline?

Tygacil

Is tigecycline available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No.

Do I need a prescription for tigecycline?

Yes.

What are the side effects of tigecycline?

The most common side effects of tigecycline are diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting is mild or moderate and usually occurs during the first two days of therapy.

Other side effects include:

  • pain at the injection site;
  • swelling and irritation;
  • increased or decreased heart rate; and
  • infections.

Tigecycline is similar to tetracycline antibiotics and therefore may have similar side effects such as increased sensitivity to sunlight. Tigecycline may cause permanent discoloration of teeth if used during tooth development (last half of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood to the age of 8 years). Like other antibiotics, tygecycline can alter normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, which causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting tigecycline (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately.

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