Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is administered to a nursing woman. Because of the potential for adverse events, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
In pediatric patients, it may be appropriate to confirm desired vancomycin serum concentrations. Concomitant administration of vancomycin and anesthetic agents has been associated with erythema and histamine-like flushing in pediatric patients (see PRECAUTIONS).
The natural decrement of glomerular filtration with increasing age may lead to elevated vancomycin serum concentrations if dosage is not adjusted. Vancomycin dosage schedules should be adjusted in elderly patients (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Severe Dermatologic Reactions
Advise patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin manifestations. Instruct patients to stop vancomycin hydrochloride for injection immediately and promptly seek medical attention at the first signs or symptoms of skin rash, mucosal lesions and blisters (see WARNINGS).
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including vancomycin hydrochloride for injection should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by vancomycin hydrochloride for injection or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
During or soon after rapid infusion of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection, 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 hydrochloride for injection is given by a slow infusion over 60 minutes. In studies of normal volunteers, infusion-related events did not occur when vancomycin hydrochloride for injection was administered at a rate of 10 mg/min or less.
Systemic vancomycin exposure may result in acute kidney injury (AKI). The risk of AKI increases as systemic exposure/serum levels increase. Additional risk factors for AKI in patients receiving vancomycin include receipt of concomitant drugs known to be nephrotoxic, in patients with pre-exiting renal impairment, or with co-morbidities that predispose to renal impairment. Interstitial nephritis has also been reported in patients receiving vancomycin.
Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibiotic treatment (see WARNINGS).
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/mm 3) has been reported rarely.
Inflammation at the injection site has been reported.
Patients have been reported to have had anaphylaxis, drug fever, nausea, chills, eosinophilia, rashes including exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (see WARNINGS , Severe Dermatologic Reactions), and vasculitis in association with the administration of vancomycin.
Chemical peritonitis has been reported following intraperitoneal administration (see PRECAUTIONS).
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
Severe dermatologic reactions such as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), and linear IgA bullous dermatosis (LABD) (see WARNINGS , Severe Dermatologic Reactions).
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Slate Run Pharmaceuticals, LLC at 1-888-341-9214 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch
Supportive care is advised, with maintenance of glomerular filtration. Vancomycin is poorly removed by dialysis. Hemofiltration and hemoperfusion with polysulfone resin have been reported to result in increased vancomycin clearance. The median lethal intravenous dose is 319 mg/kg in rats and 400 mg/kg in mice.
To obtain up-to-date information about the treatment of overdose, a good resource is your certified Regional Poison Control Center. Telephone numbers of certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug overdoses, interaction among drugs, and unusual drug kinetics in your patient.
Infusion-related events are related to both the concentration and the rate of administration of vancomycin. Concentrations of no more than 5 mg/mL and rates of no more than 10 mg/min are recommended in adults (see also age-specific recommendations). In selected patients in need of fluid restriction, a concentration up to 10 mg/mL may be used; use of such higher concentrations may increase the risk of infusion-related events. An infusion rate of 10 mg/min or less is associated with fewer infusion-related events (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Infusion-related events may occur, however, at any rate or concentration.
The usual daily intravenous dose is 2 g divided either as 500 mg every 6 hours or 1 g every 12 hours. Each dose should be administered at no more than 10 mg/min, or over a period of at least 60 minutes, whichever is longer. Other patient factors, such as age or obesity, may call for modification of the usual intravenous daily dose.
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