Vancomycin - oral
Vancomycin - oral
Vancomycin is used to treat a certain intestinal condition (colitis) that may rarely happen after treatment with antibiotics. This condition causes diarrhea and stomach/abdominal discomfort or pain. When vancomycin is taken by mouth, it stays in the intestines to stop the growth of bacteria that cause these symptoms.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infection in the intestines. It will not work for bacterial infections in any other part of the body or for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 to 8 hours. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight.
If you are also taking certain bile acid-binding cholesterol medication (such as cholestyramine, colestipol), take it at least 3 to 4 hours after taking vancomycin. Taking them together will make vancomycin work less well. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same times every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Nausea or stomach upset may occur. If either of these effects lasts or gets worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before taking vancomycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Older adults may be at greater risk for kidney problems or hearing loss while using this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this form of vancomycin passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
(See also How to Use section.)
Although most antibiotics are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor tells you to.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as stool samples, kidney function, blood counts) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised October 2017.
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