vancomycin (generic name)

Lyphocin (brand name)

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections
(van koe MYE sin)
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What is this medicine?

VANCOMYCIN (van koe MYE sin) is a glycopeptide antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • dehydration
  • hearing loss
  • kidney disease
  • other chronic illness
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vancomycin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is infused into a vein. It is usually given by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic.

If you receive this medicine at home, you will receive special instructions. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for even very young infants for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • amphotericin B
  • anesthetics
  • bacitracin
  • cisplatin
  • colistin
  • diuretics
  • other aminoglycoside antibiotics
  • polymyxin B

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if you get new symptoms. Your condition and lab work will be monitored while you are taking this medicine.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing difficulty, wheezing
  • change in amount, color of urine
  • change in hearing
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • fever, chills
  • flushing of the face and neck (reddening)
  • low blood pressure
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • nausea, vomiting
  • pain, swelling where injected
  • stomach cramps

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

You will be instructed on how to store this medicine, if needed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: September 22, 2009
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