Vancocin & C Difficile – 4 Key Facts For You

Vancocin is a trade name for vancomycin, a drug of last resort for many conditions including c. difficile and MRSA.

When is Vancocin prescribed?

In c. difficile cases it is often given after Flagyl has failed. It will usually be given to people suffering moderate to severe cases of infection.

How does Vancocin work?

It works by interfering with the bacteria cell wall mechanism and thereby halting it’s reproduction. It is given via mouth rather than the normal intravenous method used for other conditions. This help deliver the drug straight to the target area in the intestine rather than needing to disperse it via the bloodstream.

It is has a major new competitor – Fidaxomicin – which kills the c diff bacteria rather than just suppressing it. Vancomycin is considerably cheaper however. There are concerns that vancocin stops the c difficile in the short term but leaves the patient more vulnerable to future attacks because of the negative impact of the drug on other key positive gut bacteria. This relates to c difficile and other infections.

What dosage is used?

The suggested dose is 125 mg, administered orally, 4 times daily for 10 days. There is a study on whether a Flaygl/Vancocin combination delivers a better outcome for the patient with less long term weakness in the gut bacteria. Other treatment approaches include the combination of a fecal transplant (FMT) with vancocin – this is an interesting approach as many believe that the  FMT is enough to cure 90 – 97% of sufferers.

What about side effects?

While there are concerns about the long term impact of vancocin on the gut bacteria, other side effects in other parts of the body are rare except in relation to prolonged courses of treatment.  You can find out more about these at the vancomycin page at Wikipedia and this page at Wikipedia notes that these include:

Local pain, which may be severe, and thrombophlebitis.  Later trials using purer forms of vancomycin found nephrotoxicity is an infrequent adverse effect (0.1–1% of patients), but this is accentuated in the presence of aminoglycosides.[12]

Rare adverse effects (<0.1% of patients) include: anaphylaxis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, red man syndrome, superinfection, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, leukopenia, tinnitus, and dizziness and/or ototoxicity

More C Difficile Treatment Information

Recent Vancocin News

19 thoughts on “Vancocin & C Difficile – 4 Key Facts For You

  1. Marjorie Okie I can't believe I can ever be well again.

    I took 2 14 day 4 pills daily Flagyl and now 2 14 day Vancomycin and continued always with the c difficile since July. Now I am told I will need a fecal transplant probably. And will it come back?

    1. Jan Murray

      I also went through 14 days on Flagyl, then 10 days on Rifaxamin, then 10 days on 250 mg. Vancomycin 4x daily (around the clock). I still had C. Diff. I went to see an Infectious Disease Specialist (see my earlier comment above) and am now on Vancomycin 3x daily (none at night) until all SYMPTOMS are gone and stools look normal for me; then I’m to be on Vanco 3 days a week, stop for four days a week, and repeat that pattern for 6-8 weeks. Only then, if C. Diff is not gone, will I need fecal transplant. See an Infectious Disease Specialist for recurring C. Diff!!!

  2. Jan Murray

    I have had C. Diff since July and have been treated with Flagyl for 14 days, got what I believe was a false negative, was then on Xifaxan 550 mg for 10 days, and now Vancomycin 250 mg for 10 days. I got the severe form of this infection from taking Clindamycin prescribed by my dentist. Xifaxan made me feel better than the other two meds, but I tested positive for C. Diff at the end of that course of treatment and believe I still have it as I still have diarrhea near the end of the Vancomycin course, which — not incidentally — cost just pennies under $1,600 because I’m in the Medicare gap. I know of Dificid. I have an appt. with an Infectious Disease Specialist next week and expect she will prescribe Dificid. Do you know of any way to get samples or reduction of the cost which is more than $3,300 according to online information!
    Thank you for your help!

    1. Pattie W

      I worked in biotech for the last 6 years. I suggest you get on the website of the manufacturer of that drug and see if they will give a discount or clinical trial you can enroll in or if the distributer can discount the price.

      1. Jan Murray

        Thank you! Through an Infectious Disease Specialist, Shelley Gordon, PhD, MD, in SF, I found out the oral liquid is $75 for 10 days vs. $1600 for the pills, and she was also able to get a Medicare pre-authorization for a year. Yay!

  3. Maggie

    I had an abcess tooth and took cynclimycin 9SP0 and amoxicillin. I have taken flagly 250 mg for 10 days.It came back I took 500mg of flagyl for 10 more days came back. I then had to pay $400.00 for the vancomycin for yet another 10 days and it’s back. I am in dispair..what next?

    1. admin Post author

      Dificid is widely touted as being better at halting c diff. You might like to enquire about that.


  4. Pattie W

    Hi, I just found out after 5 moths of suffering that I have c-diff. I had band to gastric sleeve revision in Dec. of 2011. I had antibiotics in January of 2012 now they finally did a sample and found I have c-diff. I have been taking flagyl for about 2 weeks and cholestryamine Oral suspension…Ugh I drink it. What is the “drink” doing? They also took out my gall bladder in May 2012. Will I get better? I’m scared to have this forever?

    1. admin Post author

      Flagyl may do it but there are 2 other drugs if it doesn’t. You have several other treatment options if the flagyl fails


  5. Sandra Franklin

    I too have been suffering with c-diff. I have been treated with the meds flagyl and cipro. 3 days off the meds I had a reacurrence of c-diff. I am now taking vancocin. My question to you is will this medicine kill this c-diff. and will I keep having reacurrences? I appreciate any info you can give me!!

    1. admin Post author

      The new drug dificid is thought to be more effective in preventing future infections.


  6. Jacqueline

    I am on my 3rd time with cdif 1st time my primary care physician cave me flagyl 3pills 3x a day 14 days. 2nd time my gastrologist gave me 3 a day 10 days 2 a day 3 days 1 a day 3 days then 1 every other day 3 days now what should i take this time

  7. Carol

    Hi I am on my second round of antibiotics for c-diff. So vancocin this time and flagyl the first. At five days into the vancocin I have developed excruciating pain in my joints in my hands, wrists and knees. The doctor has run a series of lab tests and I am currently waiting for the results. I am only 42 have been in fairly good health until this past year with a couple bouts of pneumonia. I am very active and between the c diff and now this joint pain I am in pretty rough shape. Any info or suggestions would be most appreciated.

  8. barb sarich

    hopefully by now your wife is over c.diff the best advice we got was to do the tapering method it was 4 a day for 1 week then 3 a day for 1 week then 2 a day for 1 week then 1 a day for 1 week then 1 a day every other day for 2 weeks this did the trick. the spores are the hardest thing to kill off so by tapering you get them as they open you can run this by your doctor if your wife is still having problems all cases are different

  9. Dave Roberts

    You will need to take professional advice re the persistence of the infection. We can provide clear general advice but specific cases like yours need the insight of specialist doctors

    Dave Roberts

  10. Terry Shaffer

    My wife took 250 mg of vancomycin twice a day for twenty days after taking Flagyl twice a day for 10 days. She still has a difficile. Would a higher dosage of vancomycin be in order? What is the suggested dosage ? Perhaps she has a vancomycin resistant strain. If so what else can be tried?

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