Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Hearing loss: Vancomycin can cause hearing loss. People with a history of hearing loss should not take this medication if possible. If you experience any hearing loss, dizziness, or ringing ears while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Infusion reactions: IV administration of vancomycin can cause a reaction that includes severely reduced blood pressure, nausea, chills, fever, shortness of breath, and itching. If you experience any of these symptoms, let your doctor or nurse know immediately. Vancomycin may be able to be given if it is administered more slowly.
Intestinal inflammation: People with conditions associated with inflammation of the intestines (e.g., Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) may be at higher risk for side effects, when they take vancomycin capsules, especially if they also have impaired kidney function. Your doctor will monitor you closely for side effects.
Kidney function: Reduced kidney function or kidney disease may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Vancomycin can cause kidney damage. If you experience symptoms of reduced kidney function such as decreased urine production, swelling, fatigue, abdominal pain, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Overgrowth of organisms: During prolonged or repeated treatment with vancomycin, other bacteria or fungi may be allowed to overgrow. If your condition does not improve or worsens while taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are receiving IV vancomycin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: Premature neonates and young infants may require regular blood tests to ensure that the child is receiving the most appropriate dose.
Seniors: Seniors may be more likely to experience side effects associated with vancomycin as a result of reduced kidney function. They may need a lower dose or be put on a less frequent dosing schedule.