Zosyn vs. Vancomycin

Are Zosyn and Vancomycin the Same Thing?

Zosyn (piperacillin and tazobactam for injection) and vancomycin are antibiotics used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria.

Vancomycin is specifically indicated to treat serious or severe infections caused by susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant (beta-lactam-resistant) staphylococci. Vancomycin is also indicated for penicillin-allergic patients, for patients who cannot receive or who have failed to respond to other drugs, including the penicillins or cephalosporins, and for infections caused by vancomycin-susceptible organisms that are resistant to other antimicrobial drugs.

Zosyn and vancomycin are different types of antibiotics. Zosyn is a combination a penicillin antibiotic and a beta-lactamase inhibitor and vancomycin is a glycopeptide.

A brand name of vancomycin is Vancocin.

Side effects of Zosyn and vancomycin that are similar include itching.

Side effects of Zosyn that are different from vancomycin include injection site reactions (swelling, redness, pain, soreness, and irritation), dizziness, agitation, trouble sleeping (insomnia), nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or upset, diarrhea, constipation, headache, runny nose, anxiety, skin rash, and vaginal discharge or itching.

Side effects of vancomycin that are different from Zosyn include serious allergic reactions (anaphylactoid reactions), including low blood pressure, wheezing, indigestion, and hives. Rapid infusion of Vancomycin may also cause flushing of the upper body (called "red neck" or "red man syndrome"), dizziness, low blood pressure, and pain and muscle spasm of the chest and back.

Both Zosyn and vancomycin may interact with other antibiotics.

Zosyn may also interact with probenecid, blood thinners, or any other medication used to prevent blood clots.

Vancomycin may also interact with anesthetic agents, or other potentially neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic drugs (such as amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, colistin, viomycin, or cisplatin).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zosyn?

Common side effects of Zosyn include:

  • swelling,
  • redness,
  • pain,
  • soreness or
  • irritation;
  • dizziness,
  • agitation,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia),
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain or upset,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • runny nose,
  • anxiety,
  • skin rash or
  • itching, or
  • vaginal discharge or itching.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Zosyn including muscle cramps or spasms, swelling of the arms/legs/hands/feet, easy bruising or bleeding, chest pain, confusion, new signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), severe abdominal or stomach pain, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, persistent nausea or vomiting, seizures, extreme tiredness, dark or cloudy urine, change in the amount of urine, yellowing eyes or skin, or serious skin reactions (rash, peeling, sores, or blisters).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Vancomycin?

Vancomycin may cause serious side effects, including:

  • serious allergic reactions (anaphylactoid reactions),
  • including low blood pressure,
  • wheezing,
  • indigestion,
  • hives, or
  • itching.
  • Rapid infusion of Vancomycin may also cause flushing of the upper body (called "red neck" or "red man syndrome"),
  • dizziness,
  • low blood pressure, or
  • pain and muscle spasm of the chest and back.

What Is Zosyn?

Zosyn (piperacillin and tazobactam for injection) is a combination of two antibiotics used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria, such as urinary tract infections, bone and joint infections, severe vaginal infections, stomach infections, skin infections, and pneumonia. Zosyn is available in generic form.

What Is Vancomycin?

Vancomycin is an antibiotic indicated for the treatment of serious or severe infections caused by susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant (beta-lactam-resistant) staphylococci. Vancomycin is indicated for penicillin-allergic patients, for patients who cannot receive or who have failed to respond to other drugs, including the penicillins or cephalosporins, and for infections caused by Vancomycin susceptible organisms that are resistant to other antimicrobial drugs.

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What Drugs Interact With Zosyn?

Zosyn may interact with probenecid, antibiotics, blood thinners, or any other medication used to prevent blood clots. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

What Drugs Interact With Vancomycin?

Vancomycin hydrochloride may interact with cidofovir, drugs that may harm the kidneys (amphotericin B, cisplatin, polymyxin, colistin, aminoglycosides such as gentamicin, tobramycin), other antibiotics, and live bacterial vaccines.

How Should Zosyn Be Taken?

The usual total daily dose of Zosyn for adults is 3.375 g every six hours totaling 13.5 g (12.0 g piperacillin/1.5 g tazobactam).

How Should Vancomycin Be Taken?

The usual daily intravenous adult dose of Vancomycin is 2 g divided either as 500 mg every 6 hours or 1 g every 12 hours. Vancomycin may interact with anesthetic agents, or other potentially neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic drugs (such as amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, bacitracin, polymyxin B, colistin, viomycin, or cisplatin). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when prescribed. Vancomycin passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

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References


Pfizer. Zosyn Product Information.

http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=416

FDA. Vancomycin Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/060180s047lbl.pdf

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