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
Take Vancomycin by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 to 8 hours. The Dosage of Vancomycin is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the Dosage of Vancomycin 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 Vancomycin at the same times every day. Continue to take Vancomycin 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. Vancomycin may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using Vancomycin, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history,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 Vancomycin. During pregnancy, Vancomycin 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 you miss a dose of Vancomycin, 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.
(See also How to Use section.) 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.
Vancomycin 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 Vancomycin has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Vancomycin do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects,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 Vancomycin is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction,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. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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 Vancomycin when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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