This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Vancomycin was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1958. It was first introduced as an antibiotic for clinical use in the United States and has been an essential medication in treating serious bacterial infections since its approval. 

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Vancomycin works by interfering with the bacterial cell wall synthesis. Bacterial cells have a rigid outer layer called the cell wall, which provides structural support and protects the cell from bursting. It binds to specific components in the cell wall, preventing the formation of a stable cell wall structure. As a result, the bacterial cell becomes weak and more susceptible to damage, leading to its death.

Uses of undefined

Vancomycin treats severe bacterial infections caused by drug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and other resistant strains. It is commonly used to treat infections in the bloodstream, skin and soft tissues, heart valves (endocarditis), bones, joints, and certain intestinal infections like C. difficile-associated diarrhea. Vancomycin is reserved for serious infections when other antibiotics are ineffective or inappropriate.

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Healthcare professionals typically administer vancomycin in a hospital or clinical setting. The injection may be given as a slow or intermittent intravenous (IV), depending on the specific condition being treated and the healthcare provider's instructions. Before administration, the healthcare professional will assess the patient's medical history, current health status, and any known allergies or sensitivities.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Some individuals may be allergic to vancomycin. If you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention. Patients with pre-existing kidney problems may be at an increased risk of vancomycin-induced kidney damage. Rapid infusion of this medication can cause Red Man Syndrome, characterized by sudden flushing and redness of the upper body, neck, and face. This medication can cause damage to the auditory system, leading to hearing loss or ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Prolonged use can lead to Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) or colitis, a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. Rarely, it can cause neurotoxicity, leading to symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, or seizures. This medication use has been associated with changes in blood cell counts, such as decreased platelets or white blood cells. Prolonged use can lead to the overgrowth of resistant organisms, potentially causing secondary infections that are difficult to treat.


An allergic reaction can be life-threatening and requires prompt treatment. Healthcare providers should monitor kidney function and adjust the dosage accordingly. Administering the medication slowly can help prevent red man reaction. Patients with pre-existing hearing impairment or those receiving high doses of vancomycin may be at a higher risk and should avoid this medication. If you experience severe diarrhea while taking it, inform your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider about all your medications to avoid potential interactions. Close monitoring of liver function may be necessary for impaired liver individuals. Patients experiencing any neurological symptoms while taking it should seek immediate medical attention. Regular blood tests may be necessary to monitor during treatment.

Side Effects

Vancomycin may cause common side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, fever, and headache. Serious side effects can include kidney problems, hearing loss, and severe allergic reactions.

Word Of Advice

Patients should inform their healthcare providers about known allergies or previous adverse reactions to vancomycin or other antibiotics. Close kidney and liver function monitoring is essential, especially in patients with pre-existing conditions affecting these organs. Proper dosage adjustment is crucial, considering the patient's weight, age, and renal function. Patients should complete the full course of treatment as prescribed, even if they start feeling better. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare providers before using it. Patients should promptly report any severe or concerning side effects experienced during treatment. This medication should be used cautiously in the elderly and pediatric populations, with dosages adjusted accordingly. These precautions aim to maximize the benefits of this medication while minimizing the risk of side effects and antibiotic resistance.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Strides Pharma U.K. Ltd, Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC), [Revised on 4 Dec 2022] [Accessed on 28 Jul 2023],
  2. Mylan Institutional LLC, FDA (Food and Drug Safety Administration) [Revised on July 2018], [Accessed on 28 Jul 2023]
  3. Camille E. Beauduy, Lisa G. Winston, Beta-Lactam & Other Cell Wall- & Membrane-Active Antibiotics, Lange's Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 14th Edition, 2018, 795-814.
  4. KD Tripathi, Macrolide, Lincosamide, Glycopeptide, and other Antibacterial Antibiotics, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, 8th Edition, 2019, 801-814.


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.