Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about DBL Vancomycin. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you being given vancomycin against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about being given this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet.
You may need to read it again.
What DBL Vancomycin is used for
This medicine is used to treat severe infections caused by bacteria, such as:
•staphylococcal infections (including methicillin resistant staphylococci )
•endocarditis (an infection of the lining of the heart)
•osteomyelitis (bone infection)
•pneumonia (lung infection)
•septicaemia (infection of the blood)
•infections of the skin or the skin structure
•enterocolitis (infection in the intestines).
This medicine belongs to a group of medicines called glycopeptide antibiotics.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is not addictive.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Before you are given DBL Vancomycin
When you must not be given it
You must not be given DBL Vancomycin if you have an allergy to:
•any medicine containing vancomycin and similar antibiotics e.g. teicoplanin
You may need to check with your doctor
•any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
If you are not sure whether you should be given this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
•inflammatory bowel disorders.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given vancomycin.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and vancomycin may interfere with each other.
•some other medicines used to treat infections, such as amikacin, amphotericin, colistin, gentamicin, neomycin, tobramycin and piperacillin/tazobactam.
•cisplatin, an anticancer medicine
•some fluid tablets (diuretics), such as etacrynic acid and furosemide (frusemide)
•cholestyramine, a powder taken to lower cholesterol levels
•suxamethonium or vecuronium, medicines used to relax muscles.
These medicines may be affected by vancomycin, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while you are being given this medicine.
How DBL Vancomycin is given
How much is given
Your doctor will decide what dose of vancomycin you will receive and how long you will receive it for. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as your weight and kidney function.
How it is given
DBL Vancomycin is usually given as a slow injection into a vein (intravenous drip). DBL Vancomycin must only be given by a doctor or nurse.
Sometimes, vancomycin is taken orally (swallowed). DBL Vancomycin may be diluted with water and flavoured with syrup (as it has an unpleasant taste) and given as a drink.
If you receive too much (overdose)
As DBL Vancomycin is usually given to you in hospital under the supervision of your doctor, it is very unlikely that you will receive an overdose.
However, if you experience severe side effects after being given vancomycin, tell your doctor or nurse immediately.
Symptoms of a vancomycin overdose may include the side effects listed below in the ‘Side Effects’ section, but are usually of a more severe nature.
Please contact the Poisons Information Centre in Australia on 131 126 for advice on overdose management.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.
While you are being treated with DBL Vancomycin
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are being given vancomycin.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treat you that you are being given this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are being given this medicine.
It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant soon after being given vancomycin, tell your doctor.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how vancomycin affects you.
This medicine may cause dizziness in some people. If this occurs, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous. If you drink alcohol, dizziness may be worse.
Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being treated with vancomycin.
This medicine helps most people with certain serious infections, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
If you are over 65 years of age you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
•irritation at the injection site
•nausea, vomiting or mild diarrhoea
The above list includes side effects which are usually mild and short lived.
Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you notice any of the following:
•severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose or genitals
•swelling and redness along a vein which is extremely tender when touched
•itchy spots accompanied by fever and feeling unwell
•rash or any other sign of allergic reaction
•signs of an allergic reaction, such as shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin
•chills or fever, which may be accompanied by shivering
•flushing of the upper body or pain and muscle spasm of the chest and back
•fast or irregular heart beat
•ringing in the ears or hearing loss
The above list includes serious side effects which may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
After finishing it
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects, particularly if they occur several weeks after stopping treatment with vancomycin:
•severe abdominal cramps or stomach cramps
•watery and severe diarrhoea which may also be bloody
•fever, in combination with one or both of the above.
These are serious side effects. You may have a serious condition affecting your bowel. Therefore, you may need urgent medical attention. However, these side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients. Some of these side effects (for example changes in kidney function) can only be found when your doctor does tests from time to time to check your progress.
After using DBL Vancomycin
DBL Vancomycin will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. The injection is kept in a cool dry place, protected from light, where the temperature stays below 25°C.
What it looks like
DBL Vancomycin comes as a white to off white powder in a glass vial. When reconstituted with sterile water for injection, it forms a clear solution.
DBL Vancomycin does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
Sydney, NSW 2000
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
DBL Vancomycin is available in the following strengths and pack sizes:
•Vials containing 500 mg (500,000 IU) of vancomycin activity; packs of 1 and 10 vials (AUST R 62603)
•Vials containing 1000 mg (1,000,000 IU) of vancomycin activity, packs of 1 vial, (AUST R 62595).
This leaflet was updated in November 2021.
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