How Do Oxazolidinones Work?

Reviewed on 10/22/2021

How Do Oxazolidinones Work?

Oxazolidinones are a new class of antibiotics used to treat serious skin and bacterial infections, often after other antibiotics have been ineffective. They are active against a large spectrum of gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin- and vancomycin-resistant staphylococci, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, penicillin-resistant pneumococci, and anaerobes. Oxazolidinones do not work for viral infections (flu/common cold).

Oxazolidinones inhibit bacterial growth by blocking the organism's ability to synthesize proteins. They bind at the P-site of the ribosomal 50S unit (bacterial ribosome has two subunits, 30S and 50S, and these two subunits join to initiate protein synthesis).

Oxazolidinones may be administered intravenously and orally.

How Are Oxazolidinones Used?

Oxazolidinones are used to treat:

  • Skin/soft tissue infections (complicated and uncomplicated)
  • Community-acquired pneumonia in both adults and children
  • Nosocomial pneumonia (pneumonia that occurs 48 hours or more after hospitalization)
  • Bacterial infections (mainly infections caused by enterococcus and gram-positive bacteria)
  • Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (infections that are resistant to vancomycin)
  • Methicillin-resistant staphylococcal infections (infections that are resistant to many antibiotics)
  • Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord)
  • Bacteremia (an infection that has spread to the bloodstream)
  • Osteomyelitis (infection in a bone)
  • Bone infections
  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s inner lining called endocardium)
  • Septic arthritis (infection of joint and joint tissues)
  • As a prophylactic in total hip replacement
  • Postoperative infections

What Are Side Effects of Oxazolidinones?

The common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tongue discoloration
  • Dizziness

Other rare side effects include:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What Are Names of Oxazolidinones Drugs?

Names of oxazolidinones include:


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