Vancomycin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Vancomycin is an antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections that other antibiotics cannot treat. Vancomycin is only available in injectable form and is only used under a doctor's prescription.

Vancomycin is able to kill and prevent the growth of bacteria that cause infection. Several types of infections that can be treated with vancomycin are infections of the heart, skin, bones, and lungs. Even so, vancomycin is usually given by a doctor if the patient has a severe infection, namely an infection due to the MRSA bacteria or an infection that causes sepsis.

Trademark: Vancodex, Vancomycin Hydrochloride, Vancep

About Vancomycin

Type of medicinePrescription drugs
BenefitTreating severe bacterial infections (sepsis or MRSA) that other antibiotics cannot treat.
Consumed byAdults and children
Category Pregnancy and BreastfeedingCategory C: Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

The drug should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus. Vancomycin can be absorbed into breast milk.

If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without telling your doctor.

Drug formInject


  • Tell your doctor if you have or are currently suffering from kidney disease or hearing loss.
  • Tell your doctor if you will have any surgical procedures, including dental surgery.
  • Be careful in using vancomycin in the elderly over the age of 65 years, because it can affect kidney function.
  • If an allergic reaction or overdose occurs, see a doctor immediately.

Vancomycin Dosage

Here are the vancomycin doses for sepsis or MRSA:

  • Adult: 500 mg every 6 hours, or 1 g every 12 hours.
  • Children: 10 mg/kg each time, 4 times a day.

Using Vancomycin Correctly

Vancomycin is available in the form of an injectable liquid that is given through an IV. This medicine must be given by a doctor or by a medical officer on the doctor's instructions.

During the administration of vancomycin, the doctor will monitor the patient's breathing and blood pressure. Blood tests will also be carried out regularly to detect the presence of bacteria in the blood. In addition, the doctor may order a hearing test because vancomycin can cause side effects in the form of hearing loss.

Vancomycin Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are some of the risks that may occur if vancomycin is used with other drugs:

  • Increased risk of side effects of vancomycin, when used with aminoglycoside drugs, ciclosporin, cisplatin, and diuretics.
  • Increased risk of neurological disorders, if used with suxamethonium or vecuronium.

Know the Side Effects and Dangers of Vancomycin

Side effects that can occur after using vancomycin include:

  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Nauseous
  • Pain at the injection site

Call your doctor immediately if side effects worsen or any of the following conditions occur:

  • Allergic reactions, such as itching, rash, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat, and shortness of breath.
  • Diarrhea with bloody stools.
  • Gastric pains.
  • Hearing disorders.
  • Impaired kidney function.
  • Low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia).