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:
- peripheral edema (swelling of the feet and/or legs),
- urinary tract infection, and
- back pain.
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