Vancomycin is an antibiotic. It is used to treat bacterial infections of the lining of the heart, lungs, bones, skin and muscle (soft tissues).
This medicine may also be used before surgery to prevent bacterial infections of the lining of the heart.
Vancomycin injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein) as a slow infusion drip. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type or severity of your infection.
You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Vancomycin.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Do not use Vancomycin if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney diseases
- difficulty hearing or previous deafness
- anuria (unable to pass urine)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vancomycin must be used with caution in children and elderly as they may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. blood tests, kidney function tests) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Regular monitoring of ear function and sense of hearing may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Vancomycin may cause any of the following side effects: redness of the upper body and face, pain or spasm of the chest and back muscles, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea, noisy breathing (high-pitched sound), and injection site reactions (e.g. pain, redness, swelling).
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor immediately. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience hearing difficulties or loss of hearing.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- other antibiotics e.g. polymyxin B, gentamicin, bacitracin
- medicine to treat fungal infection e.g. amphotericin B
- medicine for cancer e.g. cisplatin
- medicines for water retention or “water pills” e.g. furosemide
- medicine for pain and inflammation e.g. ibuprofen
- muscle relaxants used during surgery e.g. succinylcholine, vecuronium
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Vancomycin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.