LINEZOLID injection

LINEZOLID injection

LINEZOLID injection

Linezolid injection contains linezolid, which is a synthetic antibacterial agent of the oxazolidinone class. The chemical name for linezolid is (S)-N-[[3-[3-Fluoro-4-(4-morpholinyl)phenyl]-2-oxo-5-oxazolidinyl] methyl]-acetamide. The empirical formula is C16H20FN3O4. Its molecular weight is 337.35.

Linezolid injection is supplied as a ready-to-use sterile isotonic solution for intravenous infusion. Each container contains 600 mg of linezolid in 300 mL of a clear, colorless to slightly yellow aqueous solution. Inactive ingredients include: citric acid anhydrous USP 1.92 mg/mL, sodium chloride USP 9 mg/mL, sodium hydroxide NF 0.76 mg/mL, and water for injection USP. Sodium hydroxide NF and/or hydrochloric acid NF are used to adjust the pH. The sodium (Na+ ) content is 3.98 mg/mL (52 mEq/300 mL container).

Linezolid injection is available in a single-dose, ready-to-use flexible plastic container (VisIVTM Container) in a foil laminate overwrap. The container is available in the following package size: 600 mg/300 mL (2 mg/mL) linezolid


In a randomized, positive- and placebo-controlled crossover thorough QT study, 40 healthy subjects were administered a single linezolid 600 mg dose via a 1 hour IV infusion, a single linezolid 1,200 mg dose via a 1 hour IV infusion, placebo, and a single oral dose of positive control. At both the 600 mg and 1,200 mg linezolid doses, no significant effect on QTc interval was detected at peak plasma concentration or at any other time.

Mechanism of Action

Linezolid is a synthetic antibacterial agent of the oxazolidinone class, which has clinical utility in the treatment of infections caused by aerobic Gram-positive bacteria. The in vitro spectrum of activity of linezolid also includes certain Gram-negative bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. Linezolid binds to a site on the bacterial 23S ribosomal RNA of the 50S subunit and prevents the formation of a functional 70S initiation complex, which is essential for bacterial reproduction. The results of time-kill studies have shown linezolid to be bacteriostatic against enterococci and staphylococci. For streptococci, linezolid was found to be bactericidal for the majority of isolates.


In vitro studies have shown that point mutations in the 23S rRNA are associated with linezolid resistance. Reports of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium

becoming resistant to linezolid during its clinical use have been published. There are reports of Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant) developing resistance to linezolid during clinical use. The linezolid resistance in these organisms is associated with a point mutation in the 23S rRNA (substitution of thymine for guanine at position 2576) of the organism.

Organisms resistant to oxazolidinones via mutations in chromosomal genes encoding 23S rRNA or ribosomal proteins (L3 and L4) are generally cross-resistant to linezolid. Also linezolid resistance in staphylococci mediated by the enzyme methyltransferase has been reported. This resistance is mediated by the cfr (chloramphenicol-florfenicol) gene located on a plasmid which is transferable between staphylococci.

Interaction with Other Antimicrobial Drugs

In vitro studies have demonstrated additivity or indifference between linezolid and vancomycin, gentamicin, rifampin, imipenem-cilastatin, aztreonam, ampicillin, or streptomycin.


Absorption Linezolid is extensively absorbed after oral dosing. Maximum plasma concentrations are reached approximately 1 to 2 hours after dosing, and the absolute bioavailability is approximately 100%. Therefore, linezolid may be given orally or intravenously without dose adjustment.

Linezolid may be administered without regard to the timing of meals. The time to reach the maximum concentration is delayed from 1.5 hours to 2.2 hours and Cmax is decreased by about 17% when high fat food is given with linezolid. However, the total exposure measured as AUC0-∞ is similar under both conditions.


Animal and human pharmacokinetic studies have demonstrated that linezolid readily distributes to wellperfused tissues. The plasma protein binding of linezolid is approximately 31% and is concentrationindependent. The volume of distribution of linezolid at steady-state averaged 40 to 50 liters in healthy adult volunteers.

Linezolid concentrations have been determined in various fluids from a limited number of subjects in Phase 1 volunteer studies following multiple dosing of linezolid. The ratio of linezolid in saliva relative to plasma was 1.2 to 1 and the ratio of linezolid in sweat relative to plasma was 0.55 to 1.


Linezolid is primarily metabolized by oxidation of the morpholine ring, which results in two inactive ring-opened carboxylic acid metabolites: the aminoethoxyacetic acid metabolite (A), and the hydroxyethyl glycine metabolite (B). Formation of metabolite A is presumed to be formed via an enzymatic pathway whereas metabolite B is mediated by a non-enzymatic chemical oxidation mechanism in vitro. In vitro studies have demonstrated that linezolid is minimally metabolized and may be mediated by human cytochrome P450. However, the metabolic pathway of linezolid is not fully understood.


Nonrenal clearance accounts for approximately 65% of the total clearance of linezolid. Under steady-state conditions, approximately 30% of the dose appears in the urine as linezolid, 40% as metabolite B, and 10% as metabolite A. The mean renal clearance of linezolid is 40 mL/min which suggests net tubular reabsorption. Virtually no linezolid appears in the feces, while approximately 6% of the dose appears in the feces as metabolite B, and 3% as metabolite A.

A small degree of nonlinearity in clearance was observed with increasing doses of linezolid, which appears to be due to lower renal and nonrenal clearance of linezolid at higher concentrations. However, the difference in clearance was small and was not reflected in the apparent elimination half-life.

Indications and usage

Nosocomial Pneumonia: Linezolid is indicated for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible and -resistant isolates) or Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Community-acquired Pneumonia: Linezolid is indicated for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, including cases with concurrent bacteremia, or Staphylococcus aureus (methicillinsusceptible isolates only).

Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections: Linezolid is indicated for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections, including diabetic foot infections, without concomitant osteomyelitis, caused by Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible and -resistant isolates), Streptococcus pyogenes, or Streptococcus agalactiae. Linezolid has not been studied in the treatment of decubitus ulcers.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium Infections: Linezolid is indicated for the treatment of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infections, including cases with concurrent bacteremia.

Limitations of Use

  • Linezolid is not indicated for the treatment of Gram-negative infections. It is critical that specific Gram-negative therapy be initiated immediately if a concomitant Gram-negative pathogen is documented or suspected
  • The safety and efficacy of Linezolid formulations given for longer than 28 days have not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials


To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of linezolid and other antibacterial drugs, linezolid should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.


InfectionPediatric Patients (Birth through 11 Years of Age)Adults and Adolescents (12 Years and Older)Recommended Duration of Treatment (consecutive days)
Nosocomial pneumonia10 mg/kg intravenously every 8 hours600 mg intravenously every 12 hours10 to 14
Community-acquired pneumonia10 mg/kg intravenously every 8 hours600 mg intravenously every 12 hours10 to 14
Complicated skin and skin structure infections10 mg/kg intravenously every 8 hours600 mg intravenously every 12 hours10 to 14
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infections10 mg/kg intravenously every 8 hours600 mg intravenously every 12 hours14 to 28
  • Hypersensitivity: Linezolid injection is contraindicated for use in patients who have known hypersensitivity to linezolid or any of the other product components.
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: Linezolid should not be used in patients taking any medicinal product which inhibits monoamine oxidases A or B (e.g., phenelzine, isocarboxazid) or within two weeks of taking any such medicinal product.
Usage in specific populations

Pregnancy: Available data from published and postmarketing case reports with linezolid use in pregnant women have not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. When administered during organogenesis, linezolid did not cause malformations in mice, rats, or rabbits at maternal exposure levels approximately 6.5 times (mice), equivalent to (rats), or 0.06 times (rabbits) the clinical therapeutic exposure, based on AUCs.

However, embryo-fetal lethality was observed in mice at 6.5 times the estimated human exposure. When female rats were dosed during organogenesis through lactation, postnatal survival of pups was decreased at doses approximately equivalent to the estimated human exposure based on AUCs


Lactation: Linezolid is present in breast milk. Based on data from available published case reports, the daily dose of linezolid that the infant would receive from breastmilk would be approximately 6% to 9% of the recommended therapeutic infant dose (10 mg/kg every 8 hours). There is no information on the effects of linezolid on the breastfed infant; however, diarrhea and vomiting were the most common adverse reactions reported in clinical trials in infants receiving linezolid therapeutically

Females and Males of Reproductive Potential: Based on findings from studies in rats, linezolid may reversibly impair fertility in male patients

Adverse reactions
  • Myelosuppression (including anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia); sideroblastic anemia.
  • Peripheral neuropathy, and optic neuropathy sometimes progressing to loss of vision
  • Lactic acidosis.
  • Serotonin syndrome has been reported in patients receiving concomitant serotonergic agents, including antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and linezolid
  • Convulsions
  • Anaphylaxis, angioedema, bullous skin disorders including severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR) such as toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and hypersensitivity vasculitis.
  • Superficial tooth discoloration and tongue discoloration have been reported with the use of linezolid. The tooth discoloration was removable with professional dental cleaning (manual descaling) in cases with known outcome.
  • Hypoglycemia, including symptomatic

In the event of overdosage, supportive care is advised, with maintenance of glomerular filtration. Hemodialysis may facilitate more rapid elimination of linezolid. In a Phase 1 clinical trial, approximately 30% of a dose of linezolid was removed during a 3-hour hemodialysis session beginning 3 hours after the dose of linezolid was administered. Data are not available for removal of linezolid with peritoneal dialysis or hemoperfusion. Clinical signs of acute toxicity in animals were decreased activity and ataxia in rats and vomiting and tremors in dogs treated with 3,000 mg/kg/day and 2,000 mg/kg/day, respectively.


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