ZYVOX® (linezolid)

ZYVOX® (linezolid)

ZYVOX® (linezolid)

ZYVOX I.V. Injection, ZYVOX Tablets, and ZYVOX for Oral Suspension contain linezolid, which is a synthetic antibacterial agent of the oxazolidinone class. The chemical name for linezolid is (S)-N-[[3-[3-Fluoro4-(4-morpholinyl)phenyl]-2-oxo-5-oxazolidinyl] methyl]-acetamide. The empirical formula is C16H20FN3O4. Its molecular weight is 337.35

Indications and usage

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

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

Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections: ZYVOX 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. ZYVOX has not been studied in the treatment of decubitus ulcers

Uncomplicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections: ZYVOX is indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible isolates only) or Streptococcus pyogenes

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

Limitations of Use:

  • ZYVOX is not indicated for the treatment of Gram-negative infections.
  • The safety and efficacy of ZYVOX 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 ZYVOX formulations and other antibacterial drugs, ZYVOX should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.

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.

Dosage and administration

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 or oral‡ every 8 hours600 mg intravenously or oral‡ every 12 hours10 to 14
Communityacquired pneumonia, including concurrent bacteremia10 mg/kg intravenously or oral‡ every 8 hours600 mg intravenously or oral‡ every 12 hours10 to 14
Complicated skin and skin structure infections10 mg/kg intravenously or oral‡ every 8 hours600 mg intravenously or oral‡ every 12 hours10 to 14
Vancomycinresistant Enterococcus faecium infections, including concurrent bacteremia10 mg/kg intravenously or oral‡ every 8 hours600 mg intravenously or oral‡ every 12 hours14 to 28
Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infectionsless than 5 yrs: 10 mg/kg oral‡ every 8 hours 5-11 yrs: 10 mg/kg oral‡ every 12 hoursAdults: 400 mg oral‡ every 12 hours Adolescents: 600 mg oral‡ every 12 hours10 to 14

Neonates less than 7 days: Most pre-term neonates less than 7 days of age (gestational age less than 34 weeks) have lower systemic linezolid clearance values and larger AUC values than many full-term neonates and older infants. These neonates should be initiated with a dosing regimen of 10 mg/kg every 12 hours. Consideration may be given to the use of 10 mg/kg every 8 hours regimen in neonates with a sub-optimal clinical response. All neonatal patients should receive 10 mg/kg every 8 hours by 7 days of life

Oral dosing using either ZYVOX Tablets or ZYVOX for Oral Suspension


Hypersensitivity: ZYVOX formulations are 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.

Warnings and precautions

Myelosuppression: Myelosuppression (including anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia) has been reported in patients receiving linezolid. In cases where the outcome is known, when linezolid was discontinued, the affected hematologic parameters have risen toward pretreatment levels. Complete blood counts should be monitored weekly in patients who receive linezolid, particularly in those who receive linezolid for longer than two weeks, those with pre-existing myelosuppression, those receiving concomitant drugs that produce bone marrow suppression, or those with a chronic infection who have received previous or concomitant antibacterial drug therapy. Discontinuation of therapy with linezolid should be considered in patients who develop or have worsening myelosuppression.

Peripheral and Optic Neuropathy: Peripheral and optic neuropathies have been reported in patients treated with ZYVOX, primarily in those patients treated for longer than the maximum recommended duration of 28 days. In cases of optic neuropathy that progressed to loss of vision, patients were treated for extended periods beyond the maximum recommended duration. Visual blurring has been reported in some patients treated with ZYVOX for less than 28 days. Peripheral and optic neuropathy has also been reported in children.

Serotonin Syndrome: Spontaneous reports of serotonin syndrome including fatal cases associated with the co-administration of ZYVOX and serotonergic agents, including antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been reported.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome or NMS-like reactions include hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability, and mental status changes that include extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma. The patient should also be monitored for discontinuation symptoms of the antidepressant (see package insert of the specified agent(s) for a description of the associated discontinuation symptoms).

Mortality Imbalance in an Investigational Study in Patients with Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections, Including Those with Catheter-site Infections:

Linezolid is not approved and should not be used for the treatment of patients with catheter-related bloodstream infections or catheter-site infections.

Linezolid has no clinical activity against Gram-negative pathogens and 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

Clostridioides difficile-Associated Diarrhea: Clostridioides difficile-Associated Diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including ZYVOX, 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.

Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibacterial drug use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibacterial drug treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

Potential Interactions Producing Elevation of Blood Pressure: Unless patients are monitored for potential increases in blood pressure, linezolid should not be administered to patients with uncontrolled hypertension, pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis and/or patients taking any of the following types of medications: directly and indirectly acting sympathomimetic agents (e.g., pseudoephedrine), vasopressive agents (e.g., epinephrine, norepinephrine), dopaminergic agents (e.g., dopamine, dobutamine)

Lactic Acidosis: Lactic acidosis has been reported with the use of ZYVOX. In reported cases, patients experienced repeated episodes of nausea and vomiting. Patients who develop recurrent nausea or vomiting, unexplained acidosis, or a low bicarbonate level while receiving ZYVOX should receive immediate medical evaluation.

Convulsions: Convulsions have been reported in patients when treated with linezolid. In some of these cases, a history of seizures or risk factors for seizures was reported.

Hypoglycemia: Postmarketing cases of symptomatic hypoglycemia have been reported in patients with diabetes mellitus receiving insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents when treated with linezolid, a reversible, nonselective MAO inhibitor. Some MAO inhibitors have been associated with hypoglycemic episodes in diabetic patients receiving insulin or hypoglycemic agents. While a causal relationship between linezolid and hypoglycemia has not been established, diabetic patients should be cautioned of potential hypoglycemic reactions when treated with linezolid.


Development of Drug-Resistant Bacteria: Prescribing ZYVOX in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Drug interactions

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: Linezolid is a reversible, nonselective inhibitor of monoamine oxidase

Adrenergic and Serotonergic Agents: Linezolid has the potential for interaction with adrenergic and serotonergic agents

Use 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.

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


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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