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During or soon after rapid infusion of vancomycin, patients may develop anaphylactoid reactions, including hypotension (see Animal Pharmacology), wheezing, dyspnea, urticaria, or pruritus. Rapid infusion may also cause flushing of the upper body (“red neck”) or pain and muscle spasm of the chest and back. These reactions usually resolve within 20 minutes but may persist for several hours. Such events are infrequent if vancomycin is given by a slow infusion over 60 minutes. In studies of normal volunteers, infusion-related events did not occur when vancomycin was administered at a rate of 10 mg/min or less.
Renal failure, principally manifested by increased serum creatinine or BUN concentrations, especially in patients administered large doses of vancomycin, has been reported rarely. Cases of interstitial nephritis have also been reported rarely. Most of these have occurred in patients who were given aminoglycosides concomitantly or who had preexisting kidney dysfunction. When vancomycin was discontinued, azotemia resolved in most patients.
A few dozen cases of hearing loss associated with vancomycin have been reported. Most of these patients had kidney dysfunction or a preexisting hearing loss or were receiving concomitant treatment with an ototoxic drug. Vertigo, dizziness, and tinnitus have been reported rarely.
Reversible neutropenia, usually starting 1 week or more after onset of therapy with vancomycin or after a total dosage of more than 25 g, has been reported for several dozen patients. Neutropenia appears to be promptly reversible when vancomycin is discontinued. Thrombocytopenia has rarely been reported. Although a causal relationship has not been established, reversible agranulocytosis (granulocytes < 500/mm³) has been reported rarely.
Inflammation at the injection site has been reported.
Infrequently, patients have been reported to have had anaphylaxis, drug fever, nausea, chills, eosinophilia, rashes including exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and vasculitis in association with administration of vancomycin.
Post Marketing Reports
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of vancomycin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)
Read the Vancomycin Hydrochloride (vancomycin hydrochloride injection) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Concomitant administration of vancomycin and anesthetic agents has been associated with erythema and histamine-like flushing (see Usage in Pediatrics under PRECAUTIONS) and anaphylactoid reactions (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Concurrent and/or sequential systemic or topical use of other potentially neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic drugs, such as amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, bacitracin, polymyxin B, colistin, viomycin, or cisplatin, when indicated, requires careful monitoring.
Read the Vancomycin Hydrochloride Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/7/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Vancomycin Hydrochloride Information
- Vancomycin Hydrochloride Drug Interactions Center: vancomycin iv
- Vancomycin Hydrochloride Side Effects Center
- Vancomycin Hydrochloride Overview including Precautions
- Vancomycin Hydrochloride FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
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