Health Guide

Vancomycin (By mouth)

Vancomycin (van-koe-MYE-sin)

Treats infections. This medicine is an antibiotic.

Brand Name(s):

First-Vancomycin 25, First-Vancomycin 50, Firvanq, Vancocin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to vancomycin.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, open, or chew it.
  • Shake the oral liquid well before each use. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • You may mix the oral liquid dose with 2 tablespoons of water. You may add a flavoring syrup to improve the taste of the medicine.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the capsules at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Store the oral liquid in a refrigerator for up to 14 days. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after 14 days, or if the liquid becomes cloudy or has particles in it.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how vancomycin works. Tell your doctor if you are using an aminoglycoside antibiotic (including amikacin, gentamicin, or streptomycin).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, hearing problems, or other bowel problems.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Kidney problems
    • Hearing problems
  • Use this medicine only to treat the infection your doctor has prescribed it for. Do not use it for any infection or condition that has not been checked by your doctor. This medicine will not treat the flu or the common cold.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Bloody urine, change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of hearing, ringing or buzzing in the ears, dizziness
  • Swelling of your feet or lower legs

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gas
  • Headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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