What are the Side Effects of Vancomycin?


Vancomycin is an antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections, including those in people allergic to penicillin. It can be given orally or as an injection. Both methods can cause adverse reactions but those associated with injectable Vancomycin can be more severe.

Common Reactions

Common side effects of oral Vancomycin are a bitter taste, mouth irritation and nausea. Injectable Vancomycin may cause ringing in the ears and pain and irritation at the injection site.

Serious Reactions

Severe side effects are more common with injectable Vancomycin and include kidney damage, difficulty breathing, severe blistering of the skin, extreme abdominal pain and loss of hearing.

Red Man Syndrome

This syndrome is a hypersensitivity reaction and is usually seen within several minutes after the first injection. Symptoms include fever, chills and a red rash on the face, neck and chest.


Although Vancomycin can be given with other antibiotics, the combination may increase the risk of kidney failure. Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking.


Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease or problems with your hearing. You may not be able to take Vancomycin or your dose may need to be adjusted.

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