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- What is vancomycin-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for vancomycin-oral?
- Is vancomycin-oral available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for vancomycin-oral?
- What are the side effects of vancomycin-oral?
- What is the dosage for vancomycin-oral?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with vancomycin-oral?
- Is vancomycin-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about vancomycin-oral?
What is vancomycin-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of vancomycin-oral?
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.
Rare but serious side effects are
Is vancomycin-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Use of vancomycin in pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated. Due to the lack of safety data, vancomycin should be used in pregnancy only if clearly needed. Oral vancomycin is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category B. This designation indicates animal studies have shown no harm to the fetus, but adequate safety studies on pregnant women do not exist.
Vancomycin is excreted in human milk after intravenous administration. However, oral administration of vancomycin does not result in significant levels of drug in the blood, and it is not known if vancomycin is excreted in breast milk after oral administration. Due to the lack of safety data, oral vancomycin should be used cautiously in nursing mothers.
Vancomycin (Vancocin) is an antibiotic used to treat cases of Clostridium difficile (C. Diff) and staphylococcal enterocolitis, both of which are intestinal infections that cause diarrhea. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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