Each vial contains vancomycin 500 mg (equivalent to 500,000 IU) as vancomycin hydrochloride.
A hospital pharmacist, nurse or doctor will have dissolved the Vancomycin injection powder, usually in either sterile sodium chloride solution or sterile dextrose solution.
Vancomycin belongs to a group of medicines called antibiotics. Antibiotics help the body fight infections. Vancomycin works by destroying certain bacteria that cause infection.
Vancomycin injection is often used to treat infections caused by bacteria called 'staphylococci' which may be difficult to cure using more common antibiotics like penicillin. Some of the infections it is used to treat are: Bone infections; Pneumonia; Septicaemia (blood poisoning); Soft tissue infections.
Vancomycin is sometimes used during operations or dental procedures to prevent infections.
Vancomycin can also be given as a solution to drink to kill bacteria which cause severe diarrhoea.
If the doctor gives this medicine for anything else, ask them if there are any questions about it.
The dose of medicine given to the patient will depend on the age, the infection the patient has, how well the kidneys are working, if the patient has poor hearing and any other medicines the patient may be taking.
Usual dose - as injection: Adults: 500 mg every 6 hours or 1000 mg every 12 hours.
Children: 10 mg for every kilogram of their body weight every 6 hours.
The Vancomycin solution must slowly go through a tube and needle from a bag or pump and into one of the veins. This is called an 'intravenous injection'. This will usually take at least one hour each time the patient gets a dose.
Usual dose - orally by mouth: Adults: 500 mg a day, divided into more than one dose, for 7 to 10 days.
Children: 40 mg for every kilogram of their body weight each day. This will be divided into 3 or 4 doses and given for 7 to 10 days.
Adults and children should not have more than 2 grams of Vancomycin by mouth each day.
The doctor will only inject Vancomycin into a vein and not into a muscle.
The doctor or nurse may take samples of the blood. The hospital's laboratory will measure the amount of Vancomycin in the blood. The doctor may decide to change the dose to get the right amount in the blood. They may count the blood cells. The doctor may also test the kidneys and ears, especially if the patient is elderly. If the patient has difficulty hearing, the doctor may not want to give the patient an injection of Vancomycin.
The doctor or nurse will take great care that the Vancomycin solution does not leak out of the vein when they are injecting it. Please tell them immediately if there is pain or swelling during the injection or later.
Elderly patients: The doctor may need to prescribe a lower dose to those previously listed.
Patients with kidney or liver problems: The doctor may prescribe a lower dose.
If the patient forgets to take Vancomycin: The doctor or nurse know when to give the medicine. It is most unlikely that the patient will not be given the medicine as it has been prescribed. If thinking that a dose may have been missed, then talk to the nurse or doctor.
If the patient stops taking Vancomycin: It is important that the course of treatment the doctor has prescribed is taken. The patient may start to feel better but it is important not to stop taking this medicine, until the doctor advises, otherwise the condition may get worse again.
If there are any further questions on the use of this product, ask the doctor.
If the patient takes more Vancomycin than they should: It is most unlikely that the patient will be given too much medicine by the nurse or doctor. The doctor and nurse will be monitoring the progress, and checking the medicine that the patient is given. Always ask if unsure why a dose of medicine is being administered.
Vancomycin is not suitable for everyone.
Do not take Vancomycin: If allergic to Vancomycin or any other ingredient of this medicine or if there ever had been an allergic reaction to any other antibiotic. Symptoms of an allergic reaction are rash, itching, swelling or breathing difficulties.
If there is difficulty hearing.
If there ever had been kidney trouble.
Take special care with Vancomycin: If patient is about to have a general anaesthetic; If taking other antibiotics that can affect the kidneys e.g. amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, bacitracin, polymyxin B, colistin, viomycin or cisplatin.
If any of the previously mentioned applies, please talk to the doctor or pharmacist for advice if they have not already done so.
Driving or using machines: Vancomycin has no known effect on the ability to drive and operate machinery.
The patient should tell the doctor if she is pregnant or if she intends to become pregnant. The doctor will then decide whether the patient should receive Vancomycin. Mothers who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor who will then advise them on what to do.
Like all medicines, Vancomycin can have side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Vancomycin is well tolerated by most patients and side effects are usually mild and go away.
Tell the doctor and stop taking Vancomycin immediately if any of the following rare effects are experienced: Severe allergic reaction: the patient may experience a sudden itchy rash (hives), swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, mouth or throat (which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing), and the patient may feel he/she is going to faint.
Other side effects include: Kidney troubles, but this is rare.
Hearing difficulty: sometimes with dizziness and ringing in the ears.
Low blood cell count: these may cause symptoms such as chills and, occasionally, bruising.
The patient is less likely to have side effects if they are given Vancomycin as a solution to drink because it usually passes through the stomach and intestines without getting into the rest of the body.
If the Vancomycin solution is too strong or if it is injected too quickly it can cause the blood pressure to drop, difficulty breathing, rashes and itchiness, flushed skin and muscle pain.
If any of the side effects gets serious, or if any side effects not listed in this monograph is noticed, please tell the doctor or pharmacist.
Taking other medicines: Please tell the doctor if taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. This is extremely important, as using more than one medicine at the same time can strengthen or weaken the effect of the medicines. In particular tell the doctor if taking any other antibiotics.
Taking Vancomycin with food and drink: Vancomycin can be given as an injection or taken as a solution before, with or after food.
If Vancomycin is being taken as a solution to drink, a common flavouring syrup may be added to the solution to improve the taste.
This product is for single use only and any out of date or unused vancomycin should be returned to the doctor or pharmacist for disposal.
Remember: This medicine is for the patient. Only a doctor can prescribe it for the patient. Never give it to others. It may harm them even if their symptoms are the same.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask the pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
The hospital will store the vials of Vancomycin below 30°C.
When Vancomycin powder has been dissolved in sterile diluting solution the hospital may store the solution in the refrigerator (2-8°C) for up to 24 hours.
Solutions of the parenteral powder intended for oral administration may be stored in a refrigerator (2-8°C) for 24 hours.
J01XA01 - vancomycin ; Belongs to the class of glycopeptide antibacterials. Used in the systemic treatment of infections.
Powd for soln for inj (vial) 500 mg (whitish, porous cake) x 1 x 10's. 1 g x 1 x 10's.