VANCOCIN® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP)

VANCOCIN® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP)

VANCOCIN® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP)

Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) is a lyophilized powder, for preparing intravenous (IV) infusions, in vials each containing the equivalent of 500 mg or 1 g vancomycin base. 500 mg of the base are equivalent to 0.34 mmol. When reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection to a concentration of 50 mg/mL, the pH of the solution is between 2.5 and 4.5. This product is oxygen sensitive. Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) should be administered intravenously in diluted solution.

 Vancomycin is a tricyclic glycopeptide antibiotic derived from Amycolatopasis orientalis (formerly Nocardia orientals). The chemical name for vancomycin hydrochloride is 3S[3R*,6S*(S*),7S*,22S*,23R*,26R*,36S*,38aS*]]-3-(2-Amino-2-oxoethyl)-44-[[2-O-(3-amino2,3,6-trideoxy-3-C-methyl-α-L-lyxo-hexopyranosyl)-ß-D-glucopyranosyl]oxy]-10,19-dichloro2,3,4,5,6,7,23,24,25,26,36,37,38,38a-tetradecahydro-7,22,28,30,32-pentahydroxy-6-[[4-methyl2-(methylamino)-1-oxopentyl]amino]-2,5,24,38,39-pentaoxo-22H-8,11:18,21-dietheno-23,36(iminomethano)-13,16:31,35-dimetheno-1H,16H-[1,6,9]oxadiazacyclohexadecino[4,5m][10,2,16]-benzoxadiazacyclotetracosine-26-carboxylic acid, monohydrochloride. The molecular formula is C66H75Cl2N9O24• HCl and the molecular weight is 1,485.74.


The bactericidal action of vancomycin results primarily from inhibition of cell-wall biosynthesis. In addition, vancomycin alters bacterial-cell-membrane permeability and RNA synthesis. There is no cross-resistance between vancomycin and other antibiotics. Vancomycin is not active in vitro against gram-negative bacilli, mycobacteria, or fungi.


The combination of vancomycin and an aminoglycoside acts synergistically in vitro against many strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus bovis, enterococci, and the viridans group streptococci.

Vancomycin has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections.

Aerobic gram-positive microorganisms

  • Diphtheroids Enterococci (e.g., Enterococcus faecalis) Staphylococci, including Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis (including heterogeneous methicillin-resistant strains)
  • Streptococcus bovis
  • Viridans group streptococci

Aerobic gram-positive microorganisms

  • Listeria monocytogenes Streptococcus pyogenes Streptococcus pneumoniae (including penicillin-resistant strains) Streptococcus agalactiae

Anaerobic gram-positive microorganisms

  • Actinomyces species
  • Lactobacillus species

Susceptibility Testing

For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see:


Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) is indicated for the treatment of serious or severe infections caused by susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant (β-lactamresistant) staphylococci. It is indicated for penicillin-allergic patients, for patients who cannot receive or who have failed to respond to other drugs, including the penicillins or cephalosporins, and for infections caused by vancomycin-susceptible organisms that are resistant to other antimicrobial drugs. Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) is indicated for initial therapy when methicillin-resistant staphylococci are suspected, but after susceptibility data are available, therapy should be adjusted accordingly.

Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) is effective in the treatment of staphylococcal endocarditis. Its effectiveness has been documented in other infections due to staphylococci, including septicemia, bone infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin and skin structure infections. When staphylococcal infections are localized and purulent, antibiotics are used as adjuncts to appropriate surgical measures.


Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) has been reported to be effective alone or in combination with an aminoglycoside for endocarditis caused by S. viridans or S. bovis. For endocarditis caused by enterococci (e.g., E. faecalis), vancomycin has been reported to be effective only in combination with an aminoglycoside.

Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) has been reported to be effective for the treatment of diphtheroid endocarditis. Vancocin® HCl (Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP) has been used successfully in combination with either rifampin, an aminoglycoside, or both in early-onset prosthetic valve endocarditis caused by S. epidermidis or diphtheroids.

Specimens for bacteriologic cultures should be obtained in order to isolate and identify causative organisms and to determine their susceptibilities to vancomycin.

The parenteral form of vancomycin hydrochloride may be administered orally for treatment of antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis produced by C. difficile and for staphylococcal enterocolitis. Parenteral administration of vancomycin hydrochloride alone is of unproven benefit for these indications. Vancomycin is not effective by the oral route for other types of infections.


Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to this antibiotic.


Infusion Reactions: Rapid bolus administration (e.g., over several minutes) may be associated with exaggerated hypotension, including shock and rarely cardiac arrest.

Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection should be administered in a diluted solution over a period of not less than 60 minutes to avoid rapid-infusion-related reactions. Stopping the infusion usually results in prompt cessation of these reactions.

Nephrotoxicity: Systemic vancomycin exposure may result in acute kidney injury (AKI). The risk of AKI increases as systemic exposure/serum levels increase. Monitor renal function in all patients, especially patients with underlying renal impairment, patients with co-morbidities that predispose to renal impairment, and patients receiving concomitant therapy with a drug known to be nephrotoxic.

Ototoxicity: Ototoxicity has occurred in patients receiving vancomycin hydrochloride for injection. It may be transient or permanent. It has been reported mostly in patients who have been given excessive doses, who have an underlying hearing loss, or who are receiving concomitant therapy with another ototoxic agent, such as an aminoglycoside. Vancomycin should be used with caution in patients with renal insufficiency because the risk of toxicity is appreciably increased by high, prolonged blood concentrations.

Severe Dermatologic Reactions: Severe dermatologic reactions such as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), and linear IgA bullous dermatosis (LABD) have been reported in association with the use of vancomycin. Cutaneous signs or symptoms reported include skin rashes, mucosal lesions, and blisters.

Discontinue vancomycin hydrochloride for injection at the first appearance of signs and symptoms of TEN, SJS, DRESS, AGEP, or LABD.

Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea (CDAD): Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including vancomycin hydrochloride for injection, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

Hemorrhagic Occlusive Retinal Vasculitis (HORV): Hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis, including permanent loss of vision, occurred in patients receiving intracameral or intravitreal administration of vancomycin during or after cataract surgery. The safety and efficacy of vancomycin administered by the intracameral or the intravitreal route have not been established by adequate and well-controlled trials. Vancomycin is not indicated for the prophylaxis of endophthalmitis.

Drug Interactions

Concomitant administration of vancomycin and anesthetic agents has been associated with erythema and histamine-like flushing and anaphylactoid reactions.

Monitor renal function in patients receiving vancomycin and concurrent and/or sequential systemic or topical use of other potentially, neurotoxic and/or nephrotoxic drugs, such as amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, bacitracin, polymixin B, colistin, viomycin, or cisplatin.

Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with vancomycin. It is not known whether vancomycin can affect reproduction capacity. In a controlled clinical study, the potential ototoxic and nephrotoxic effects of vancomycin on infants were evaluated when the drug was administered to pregnant women for serious staphylococcal infections complicating intravenous drug abuse.

Vancomycin was found in cord blood. No sensorineural hearing loss or nephrotoxicity attributable to vancomycin was noted. One infant whose mother received vancomycin in the third trimester experienced conductive hearing loss that was not attributed to the administration of vancomycin. Because the number of patients treated in this study was limited and vancomycin was administered only in the second and third trimesters, it is not known whether vancomycin causes fetal harm. Vancomycin should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers: Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is administered to a nursing woman. Because of the potential for adverse events, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use: In pediatric patients, it may be appropriate to confirm desired vancomycin serum concentrations. Concomitant administration of vancomycin and anesthetic agents has been associated with erythema and histamine-like flushing in pediatric patients.

Geriatric Use: The natural decrement of glomerular filtration with increasing age may lead to elevated vancomycin serum concentrations if dosage is not adjusted. Vancomycin dosage schedules should be adjusted in elderly patients.


Supportive care is advised, with maintenance of glomerular filtration. Vancomycin is poorly removed by dialysis. Hemofiltration and hemoperfusion with polysulfone resin have been reported to result in increased vancomycin clearance. The median lethal intravenous dose is 319 mg/kg in rats and 400 mg/kg in mice.

To obtain up-to-date information about the treatment of overdose, a good resource is your certified Regional Poison Control Center. Telephone numbers of certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug overdoses, interaction among drugs, and unusual drug kinetics in your patient.


Infusion-related events are related to both the concentration and the rate of administration of vancomycin. Concentrations of no more than 5 mg/mL and rates of no more than 10 mg/min, are recommended in adults (see also age-specific recommendations). In selected patients in need of fluid restriction, a concentration up to 10 mg/mL may be used; use of such higher concentrations may increase the risk of infusion-related events. An infusion rate of 10 mg/min or less is associated with fewer infusion-related events. Infusion-related events may occur, however, at any rate or concentration.

Patients With Normal Renal Function

Adults: The usual daily intravenous dose is 2 g divided either as 500 mg every 6 hours or 1 g every 12 hours. Each dose should be administered at no more than 10 mg/min or over a period of at least 60 minutes, whichever is longer. Other patient factors, such as age or obesity, may call for modification of the usual intravenous daily dose.

Pediatric patients: The usual intravenous dosage of vancomycin is 10 mg/kg per dose given every 6 hours. Each dose should be administered over a period of at least 60 minutes. Close monitoring of serum concentrations of vancomycin may be warranted in these patients.

Neonates: In pediatric patients up to the age of 1 month, the total daily intravenous dosage may be lower. In neonates, an initial dose of 15 mg/kg is suggested, followed by 10 mg/kg every 12 hours for neonates in the 1st week of life and every 8 hours thereafter up to the age of 1 month. Each dose should be administered over 60 minutes. In premature infants, vancomycin clearance decreases as postconceptional age decreases. Therefore, longer dosing intervals may be necessary in premature infants. Close monitoring of serum concentrations of vancomycin is recommended in these patients.



Creatinine Clearance mL/minVancomycin Dose mg/24 h

The initial dose should be no less than 15 mg/kg, even in patients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency. The table is not valid for functionally anephric patients. For such patients, an initial dose of 15 mg/kg of body weight should be given to achieve prompt therapeutic serum concentrations. The dose required to maintain stable concentrations is 1.9 mg/kg/24 hr.

When only serum creatinine is known, the following formula (based on sex, weight and age of the patient) may be used to calculate creatinine clearance. Calculated creatinine clearances (mL/min) are only estimates. The creatinine clearance should be measured promptly.

For Oral Administration

Oral vancomycin is used in treating antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis caused by

C. difficile and for staphylococcal enterocolitis. Vancomycin is not effective by the oral route for other types of infections. The usual adult total daily dosage is 500 mg to 2 g given in 3 or 4 divided doses for 7 to 10 days. The total daily dose in children is 40 mg/kg of body weight in 3 or 4 divided doses for 7 to 10 days. The total daily dosage should not exceed 2 g. The appropriate dose may be diluted in 1 oz of water and given to the patients to drink. Common flavoring syrups may be added to the solution to improve the taste for oral administration. The diluted solution may be administered via a nasogastric tube.