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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
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Which drugs or supplements interact with vancomycin-oral?
No drug interaction studies have been conducted for oral vancomycin.
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.
What else should I know about vancomycin-oral?
What preparations of vancomycin-oral are available?
Capsules: 125 and 250 mg. Oral powder: 25 and 50 mg compounding kit.
How should I keep vancomycin-oral stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature, from 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
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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Infectious Disease Resources
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Antibiotic ResistanceDrug resistance (antimicrobial resistance) is the ability of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses to grow, even in the presence of a drug that would normally kill it (or limit it's growth). Drug resistance is a growing problem, particularly for infections such as MRSA, VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci), tuberculosis, HIV, STDs, gonorrhea, flu, pneumonia, malaria, E. coli, salmonella, Campylobacter, which causes diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Learn how to protect yourself from resistance to drugs.
Clostridium Difficile Colitis
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium, and is one of the most common causes of infection of the colon. C. difficile spores are found frequently in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, and nurseries for newborn infants. They can be found:
- on bedpans,
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- diaper pails.
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- replenishment of electrolyte deficiencies,
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- using antibiotics to eradicate the C. difficile bacterium.
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DiarrheaDiarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
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MRSA InfectionMRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria causes skin infections with the following signs and symptoms: cellulitis, abscesses, carbuncles, impetigo, styes, and boils. Normal skin tissue doesn't usually allow MRSA infection to develop. Individuals with depressed immune systems and people with cuts, abrasions, or chronic skin disease are more susceptible to MRSA infection.
SepsisSepsis (blood poisoning) is a potentially deadly infection with signs and symptoms that include elevated heart rate, low or high temperature, rapid breathing and/or a white blood cell count that is too high or too low and has more than 10% band cells. Most cases of sepsis are caused by bacterial infections, and some cases are caused by fungal infections. Treatment requires hospitalization, IV antibiotics, and therapy to treat any organ dysfunction.
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection is the most common type of infection acquired by patients while hospitalized. Patients at risk for VRE are those who are already ill, and hospitalized, including individuals with diabetes, elderly, ICU patients, kidney failure patients, or patients requiring catheters. Enterococci can survive for months in the digestive tract and female genital tract. Other risk factors for acquiring VRE include those how have been previously treated with vancomycin and combinations of other antibiotics. Treatment of VRE is generally with other antibiotics other than vancomycin. Prevention of VRE can be achieved by proper hand hygiene.