What is this medication?
Vancomycin, Vancocin (US/CDN)/Firvanq/Vancosal (US)
Vancomycin, Vancocin/Firvanq/Vancosal is used on or off label for various infections depending on your common local bacterial strains for various infections and based on local resistance patterns. Not all antibiotics work for all infections and efficacy can vary from area to area and vary with time. It is officially indicated in North America for use in Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile infection (oral), Endocarditis Enterocolitis (oral), and Staphylococcal infections (injection).
“ALERT: US Boxed Warning
Risk of embryo-fetal toxicity due to excipients:
The formulation of vancomycin injection containing the excipients, polyethylene glycol (PEG 400) and N-acetyl D-alanine (NADA), is not recommended for use during pregnancy. PEG 400 and NADA have caused fetal malformations in animal reproduction studies. If use of vancomycin is needed during pregnancy, use other available formulations of vancomycin.”
How does this medication work?
Oral: 125 to 500 mg 4 times daily.
Note: Ineffective for treating systemic infections
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Vancomycin, Vancocin/Firvanq/Vancosal make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Vancomycin has been associated with rare but serious reactions such as thrombophlebitis, nephrotoxicity, neutropenia, ototoxicity, and superinfection by resistant organism.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Endocrine & metabolic: Hypokalemia (13%)
Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain (15%), nausea (17%)
Note that this is not an extensive list of side effects, only the most common ones when taken orally.
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