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.
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 Drugs.com. 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.
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
- Fidaxomicin (Dificid) & C Difficile
- Flagyl (Metronidazole) & C Difficile Treatment
- Vancocin & C Difficile – 4 Key Facts
- C Diff Fecal Transplant Therapy – 7 Key Facts
- Why do some people have recurrent C Diff infections?
Recent Vancocin News
- Surveillance for antimicrobial resistance in Australian isolates of Clostridium difficile, 2013–14
- FMT/antibiotic combo sees off C. diff
- C. difficile patients benefit from oral vancomycin, IV metronidazole combination
- A meta-analysis of metronidazole and vancomycin for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection, stratified by disease severity. - PubMed - NCBI
- The Addition of Intravenous Metronidazole to Oral Vancomycin is Associated with Improved Mortality in Critically Ill Patients with Clostridium difficile
- Loss of microbiota-mediated colonization resistance to Clostridium difficile infection is greater following oral vancomycin as compared with metronidazole
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