vancomycin, Vancocin

  • 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.

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GENERIC NAME: vancomycin

BRAND NAME: Vancocin HCL

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Oral vancomycin is a glycopeptide antibiotic that is used for the treatment of Clostridium difficile diarrhea and staphylococcal enterocolitis. Vancomycin is a bactericidal antibiotic (it kills bacteria) that exerts its effects by preventing bacteria from forming cell walls, which they need to survive. Vancomycin is only effective against gram-positive bacteria.

Oral vancomycin is poorly absorbed, and ingestion does not result in significant levels of drug in the body. Therefore, oral vancomycin is limited to the treatment of infections that are limited to the gastrointestinal tract such as diarrhea that is associated with the overgrowth of C. difficile.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Oral vancomycin is used for the treatment of C. difficile-associated diarrhea. It also is used for the treatment of enterocolitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant strains).

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with oral vancomycin treatment are

Less common side effects are:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2015

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