When do Doctors Prescribe a Vancomycin IV?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2018
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Medical professionals prescribe a vancomycin IV for treatment in cases of bacterial infection. Dosing varies, based on the condition and the individual it will be used to treat. Most prescriptions will specify that the drug is to be used well after the symptoms of the condition disappear to ensure that the bacteria are completely out of the person's system before stopping the drug.

A vancomycin IV can be used to treat a number of bacterial infections of the blood, skin, bone, tissues, and organs. Effective against staphylococcus bacteria, it is often prescribed for infections that have spread throughout the entire body. It can also be used for infections in patches of the skin, heart valves, or joints.

Vancomycin is also safe for infants and newborns suffering from bacterial infections. Pneumonia in newborns can be effectively treated with this medication, as can most bacterial infections of the blood, body, and tissues. Medical professionals will typically only administer the drug to pregnant women when absolutely necessary. As it can be passed to an uninfected newborn through breast milk, it should only be used with caution in a woman who is breast-feeding.


Individuals who are diabetic can also be prescribed a vancomycin IV to fight off infections in various parts of the body, including the feet. Infection can also occur after major or minor surgery, and an IV can be given to individuals who are still recovering. It can also be used to fight cases of bacterial meningitis, streptococcus, and pneumonia.

The drug acts over time to kill the bacteria causing the infection in the body. While an IV can be very effective for many infections, it is usually not administered this way for cases of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. In this case, the bacteria have infected the intestines, so the same medication given via an injection and IV drip for other conditions is taken by mouth as a liquid to ensure that it passes through the system and gets into the infected intestines in order to fight the bacteria there.

Healthcare professionals may request blood tests or a change in the normal dosage for individuals who have kidney diseases. As a vancomycin IV may interfere with kidney function, those with kidney problems may not be able to take the medication. It may also cause allergic reactions for some individuals, so medical professionals will typically ask about pre-existing allergies before prescribing.


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Post 4

My sister who has renal disease was given vancomycin 1500mg to treat a blood infection from a cath in her chest and she developed a serious rash. She had been treated for several days and it was abruptly stopped due to the rash which cleared up. It is a very strong medication that should be used cautiously and only when other antibiotics are not effective.

Post 3

@ankara-- Yea, vancomycin IV can cause fatigue. But it may also be the infection, you're body is actively fighting bacteria right now so you're bound to feel tired.

Vancomycin IV is commonly used at hospitals because a lot of infections can take place at hospital settings, especially with surgical operations. Even though medical personnel work very professionally and everything is hygienic, it's still a hospital with many patients, so infections can be inevitable.

Post 2

@ZipLine-- I'm on vancomycin IV as well, for pneumonia.

Just wondering, have you had any side effects from this medicine?

I'm experiencing a lot of fatigue since I've been on it. I can barely get around the house, the fatigue is that bad.

Post 1

I've been on a vancomycin IV for a few days now. I had surgery recently and I'm suffering from an infection of the incision.

I know this is a really good antibiotic so I'm glad my doctor put me on it. I was really scared about a post-surgery infection and it happened. Hopefully the infection will be cleared up soon before it spreads.

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