Vancomycin HCL

Vancomycin HCL
Vancomycin HCL
Vancomycin HCL is a powerful antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections, particularly those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other drug-resistant organisms.
Active Ingredient: Vancomycin HCL
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Side Effects

Nausea or stomach upset may occur. If either of these effects lasts or gets worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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: dizziness, hearing problems (such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss), easy bruising/bleeding, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

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: fever that doesn't go away, new or worsening lymph node swelling, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

How long does it take for this medicine to take effect?

The onset of action for vancomycin HCL, when administered intravenously (IV), is relatively rapid, with therapeutic concentrations achieved in the bloodstream immediately after IV administration. However, the clinical response, such as a reduction in fever, leukocytosis (increased white blood cell count), or other signs of infection, may take 24-72 hours or longer, depending on the severity of the infection and the site. Oral vancomycin is used specifically for treating Clostridioides difficile-associated diarrhea and is not absorbed into the bloodstream; its action is localized to the gut, with effects observable within 24 to 48 hours.

How long do the effects of this medicine last?

The half-life of vancomycin in adults with normal renal function is approximately 6 to 8 hours, necessitating dosing intervals of every 8 to 12 hours to maintain therapeutic levels. The duration of the antimicrobial effect is sustained as long as therapeutic levels are maintained in the bloodstream, which is dependent on regular administration according to the prescribed schedule until the course is completed. For infections requiring prolonged treatment, therapeutic drug monitoring is recommended to ensure efficacy and minimize toxicity.

Is it safe to consume alcohol while taking this medicine?

There is no direct interaction between vancomycin and alcohol. However, excessive alcohol consumption can impair immune function and potentially worsen or complicate an infection. Additionally, alcohol can have deleterious effects on the liver and kidneys, which could be concerning given that vancomycin's toxicity is primarily renal. Patients should be advised to moderate alcohol consumption while being treated with vancomycin.

Is this a habit forming medicine?

Vancomycin does not possess any addictive properties or potential for habit formation. It is used under medical supervision for specific bacterial infections and has no psychoactive effects.

Can this medicine be taken during pregnancy?

Vancomycin is classified as a category B drug by the FDA for use during pregnancy. Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Vancomycin should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed and if the potential benefits justify the potential risks to the fetus. Intravenous administration is the route of choice if vancomycin treatment is necessary during pregnancy, as oral vancomycin is not absorbed systemically.

Can this medicine be taken while breast-feeding?

Vancomycin is excreted in human milk in small amounts after intravenous administration. While adverse effects in breastfed infants due to vancomycin are not reported in the literature, the decision to continue breastfeeding should consider the importance of the drug to the mother and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child. Monitoring for possible adverse effects in the nursing infant is advisable.


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.

How to use vancomycin oral

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.


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: kidney disease, hearing problems, other stomach/intestinal problems.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

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.


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

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.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.



Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

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