skip to main content
NZ Formulary

Printable Printable large type (2 pages) A4 Size PDF A5 Size PDF

Vancomycin (injection)

van-koh-my-sin

What does it do?

Vancomycin is used to treat and prevent bacterial infections.

How is it given?

Vancomycin is given as a slow infusion into a vein, usually by a health professional.

What if you forget a dose?

If you miss a dose, contact your health professional as soon as possible.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with vancomycin including:

  • anti-inflammatories, such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®), or aspirin (e.g. Disprin®, in doses used for pain relief). These can also be found in some cold and flu medicines (e.g. Nurofen Cold and Flu®).

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Reaction during the infusion including: flushing, redness, itching, short of breath, dizziness, fast or irregular heartbeat

Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Hearing loss, ringing in the ears, unsteadiness

Tell your doctor immediately

Severe or persistent diarrhoea, abdominal pain

Tell your doctor

Pain, tenderness or redness at injection site

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney, hearing, or balance problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You will need regular blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working, and to measure the amount of vancomycin in your blood to make sure you are on the right dose.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. May 2022

For more general information about this sheet annd its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

Web links for this sheet in different formats

Click on buttons to copy web addresses for this leaflet:

If your browser does not automatically copy these links use its copy command instead.

About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed