This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Firvanq; Vancocin; Vancocin HCl; Vancosol Pack [DSC]
JAMP-Vancomycin; PMS-Vancomycin; Vancocin; Vancomycin HCl
- Some injection products are not for use during pregnancy. These products contain other things that may cause harm to the unborn baby. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor to make sure your product may be used during pregnancy.
- It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
All oral products:
- It is used to treat diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection called C diff.
- It is used to treat a type of bowel infection.
- If you have an allergy to vancomycin or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Kidney problems like kidney failure have happened with this drug. Tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney problems.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You may need to have hearing tests while you use this drug. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
- This drug is not approved for injection into the eye. Eye problems, including long-lasting loss of eyesight, have happened when this drug was given into the eye.
- If you are able to get pregnant, your doctor may have you take a pregnancy test before starting this drug to show that you are NOT pregnant.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Pain when passing urine.
- This drug may cause hearing loss that may not go away. The chance may be higher if you use this drug for a long time. Do not use this drug longer than you have been told by your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have a change in hearing or hearing loss.
- Fever or chills.
- Sore throat.
- Change in balance.
- During the infusion, a rash on the face, neck, trunk, and arms.
- Some health problems may happen when this drug is given too fast. This includes shortness of breath or wheezing, itching, muscle pain, chest pain, and signs of low blood pressure like dizziness or passing out. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.
- This drug may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.
- It is common to have diarrhea when taking antibiotics. Rarely, a severe form of diarrhea called C diff–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking an antibiotic or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
All oral products:
- Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Stomach pain or diarrhea.
All oral products:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Back pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
All oral products:
- Take with or without food.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Your pharmacist will need to mix this drug before you get it.
- Shake well before use.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
All oral products:
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Protect from light.
- Keep lid tightly closed.
- Be sure you know how long you can store this drug before you need to throw it away.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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