Rapid bolus administration (e.g., over several minutes) may be associated with exaggerated hypotension, including shock and rarely cardiac arrest.
Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection should be administered in a diluted solution over a period of not less than 60 minutes to avoid rapid-infusion-related reactions. Stopping the infusion usually results in prompt cessation of these reactions.
Systemic vancomycin exposure may result in acute kidney injury (AKI). The risk of AKI increases as systemic exposure/serum levels increase. Monitor renal function in all patients, especially patients with underlying renal impairment, patients with co-morbidities that predispose to renal impairment, and patients receiving concomitant therapy with a drug known to be nephrotoxic.
Ototoxicity has occurred in patients receiving vancomycin hydrochloride for injection. It may be transient or permanent. It has been reported mostly in patients who have been given excessive doses, who have an underlying hearing loss, or who are receiving concomitant therapy with another ototoxic agent, such as an aminoglycoside. Vancomycin should be used with caution in patients with renal insufficiency because the risk of toxicity is appreciably increased by high, prolonged blood concentrations.
Clostridioides difficile Associated Diarrhea (CDAD)
Clostridioides difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including vancomycin hydrochloride for injection, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Hemorrhagic Occlusive Retinal Vasculitis (HORV)
Hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis, including permanent loss of vision, occurred in patients receiving intracameral or intravitreal administration of vancomycin during or after cataract surgery. The safety and efficacy of vancomycin administered by the intracameral or the intravitreal route have not been established by adequate and well-controlled trials. Vancomycin is not indicated for the prophylaxis of endophthalmitis.
Clinically significant serum concentrations have been reported in some patients being treated for active C. difficile-induced pseudomembranous colitis after multiple oral doses of vancomycin.
Prolonged use of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection may result in the overgrowth of nonsusceptible microorganisms. Careful observation of the patient is essential. If superinfection occurs during therapy, appropriate measures should be taken. In rare instances, there have been reports of pseudomembranous colitis due to C. difficile developing in patients who received intravenous vancomycin hydrochloride for injection.
Serial tests of auditory function may be helpful in order to minimize the risk of ototoxicity.
Reversible neutropenia has been reported in patients receiving vancomycin hydrochloride for injection (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Patients who will undergo prolonged therapy with vancomycin hydrochloride for injection or those who are receiving concomitant drugs which may cause neutropenia should have periodic monitoring of the leukocyte count.
Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is irritating to tissue and must be given by a secure IV route of administration. Pain, tenderness, and necrosis occur with intramuscular (IM) injection of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection or with inadvertent extravasation. Thrombophlebitis may occur, the frequency and severity of which can be minimized by administering the drug slowly as a dilute solution (2.5 to 5 g/L) and by rotation of venous access sites.
There have been reports that the frequency of infusion-related events (including hypotension, flushing, erythema, urticaria, and pruritus) increases with the concomitant administration of anesthetic agents. Infusion-related events may be minimized by the administration of vancomycin as a 60-minute infusion prior to anesthetic induction. The safety and efficacy of vancomycin administered by the intrathecal (intralumbar or intraventricular) route or by the intraperitoneal route have not been established by adequate and well-controlled trials.
Reports have revealed that administration of sterile vancomycin by the intraperitoneal route during continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) has resulted in a syndrome of chemical peritonitis. To date, this syndrome has ranged from cloudy dialysate alone to a cloudy dialysate accompanied by variable degrees of abdominal pain and fever. This syndrome appears to be short-lived after discontinuation of intraperitoneal vancomycin.
Prescribing vancomycin hydrochloride for injection in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Concomitant administration of vancomycin and anesthetic agents has been associated with erythema and histamine-like flushing (see Pediatric Use - PRECAUTIONS) and anaphylactoid reactions (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Monitor renal function in patients receiving vancomycin and concurrent and/or sequential systemic or topical use of other potentially neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic drugs, such as amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, bacitracin, polymixin B, colistin, viomycin, or cisplatin.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Although no long-term studies in animals have been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential, no mutagenic potential of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection was found in standard laboratory tests. No definitive fertility studies have been performed.
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with vancomycin. It is not known whether vancomycin can affect reproduction capacity. In a controlled clinical study, the potential ototoxic and nephrotoxic effects of vancomycin on infants were evaluated when the drug was administered to pregnant women for serious staphylococcal infections complicating intravenous drug abuse. Vancomycin was found in cord blood. No sensorineural hearing loss or nephrotoxicity attributable to vancomycin was noted. One infant whose mother received vancomycin in the third trimester experienced conductive hearing loss that was not attributed to the administration of vancomycin. Because the number of patients treated in this study was limited and vancomycin was administered only in the second and third trimesters, it is not known whether vancomycin causes fetal harm. Vancomycin should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
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).
Information for Patients
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.