VANCOMYCIN HYDROCHLORIDE: Package Insert and Label Information

VANCOMYCIN HYDROCHLORIDE- vancomycin hydrochloride injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution
Slate Run Pharmaceuticals, LLC

For Intravenous Use

Rx Only

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP and other antibacterial drugs, Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.


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. Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP should be administered intravenously in diluted solution (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION), AFTER RECONSTITUTION FURTHER DILUTION IS REQUIRED BEFORE USE.

Vancomycin is a tricyclic glycopeptide antibiotic derived from Amycolatopasis orientalis (formerly Nocardia orientals). The chemical name for vancomycin hydrochloride is 3S- [3 R *,6 S *( S *),7 S *,22 S *, 23 R *,26 R *,36 S *,38a S *]]-3-(2-Amino-2-oxoethyl)-44-[[2-O-(3-amino-2,3,6-trideoxy-3-C-methyl-α-L-lyxo-hexopyranosyl)-ß-D-glucopyranosyl]oxy]-10,19-dichloro-2,3,4,5,6,7,23,24,25,26,36,37,38,38a-tetradecahydro-7,22,28,30,32-pentahydroxy-6-[[4-methyl-2-(methylamino)-1-oxopentyl]amino]-2,5,24,38,39-pentaoxo-22 H -8,11:18,21-dietheno-23,36-(iminomethano)-13,16:31,35-dimetheno-1 H ,16 H -[1,6,9] oxadiazacyclohexadecino[4,5- m ][10,2,16]-benzoxadiazacyclotetracosine-26-carboxylic acid, monohydrochloride. The molecular formula is C 66 H 75 Cl 2 N 9 O 24 • HCl and the molecular weight is 1,485.74. Vancomycin hydrochloride has the following structural formula:

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Vancomycin is poorly absorbed after oral administration.

In subjects with normal kidney function, multiple intravenous dosing of 1 g of vancomycin (15 mg/kg) infused over 60 minutes produces mean plasma concentrations of approximately 63 mcg/mL immediately after the completion of infusion, mean plasma concentrations of approximately 23 mcg/mL 2 hours after infusion, and mean plasma concentrations of approximately 8 mcg/mL 11 hours after the end of the infusion. Multiple dosing of 500 mg infused over 30 minutes produces mean plasma concentrations of about 49 mcg/mL at the completion of infusion, mean plasma concentrations of about 19 mcg/mL 2 hours after infusion, and mean plasma concentrations of about 10 mcg/mL 6 hours after infusion. The plasma concentrations during multiple dosing are similar to those after a single dose.

The mean elimination half-life of vancomycin from plasma is 4 to 6 hours in subjects with normal renal function. In the first 24 hours, about 75% of an administered dose of vancomycin is excreted in urine by glomerular filtration. Mean plasma clearance is about 0.058 L/kg/h, and mean renal clearance is about 0.048 L/kg/h. Renal dysfunction slows excretion of vancomycin. In anephric patients, the average half-life of elimination is 7.5 days. The distribution coefficient is from 0.3 to 0.43 L/kg. There is no apparent metabolism of the drug. About 60% of an intraperitoneal dose of vancomycin administered during peritoneal dialysis is absorbed systemically in 6 hours. Serum concentrations of about 10 mcg/mL are achieved by intraperitoneal injection of 30 mg/kg of vancomycin. However, the safety and efficacy of the intraperitoneal use of vancomycin has not been established in adequate and well-controlled trials (see PRECAUTIONS).

Total systemic and renal clearance of vancomycin may be reduced in the elderly. Vancomycin is approximately 55% serum protein bound as measured by ultrafiltration at vancomycin serum concentrations of 10 to 100 mcg/mL. After IV administration of vancomycin, inhibitory concentrations are present in pleural, pericardial, ascitic, and synovial fluids; in urine; in peritoneal dialysis fluid; and in atrial appendage tissue. Vancomycin does not readily diffuse across normal meninges into the spinal fluid; but, when the meninges are inflamed, penetration into the spinal fluid occurs.


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 as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.

Aerobic gram-positive microorganisms


Enterococci (e.g., Enterococcus faecalis)

Staphylococci, including Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis (including heterogeneous methicillin-resistant strains)

Streptococcus bovis

Viridans group streptococci

The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown.

Vancomycin exhibits in vitro MIC’s of 1 mcg/mL or less against most (≥ 90%) strains of streptococci listed below and MIC’s of 4 mcg/mL or less against most (≥ 90%) strains of other listed microorganisms; however, the safety and effectiveness of vancomycin in treating clinical infections due to these microorganisms have not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.

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 Test Methods

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


Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP is indicated for the treatment of serious or severe infections caused by susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant (β-lactam-resistant) 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. 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.

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.

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.

Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP has been reported to be effective for the treatment of diphtheroid endocarditis. 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.

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP and other antibacterial drugs, Vancomycin Hydrochloride for Injection USP 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.

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.


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 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.

Dosage of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection must be adjusted for patients with renal dysfunction (see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

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.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. 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 antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile , and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

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.


Clinically significant serum concentrations have been reported in some patients being treated for active C. difficile -induced pseudomembranous colitis after multiple oral doses of vancomycin.

Prolonged use of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection may result in the overgrowth of nonsusceptible microorganisms. Careful observation of the patient is essential. If superinfection occurs during therapy, appropriate measures should be taken. In rare instances, there have been reports of pseudomembranous colitis due to C. difficile developing in patients who received intravenous vancomycin hydrochloride for injection.

Serial tests of auditory function may be helpful in order to minimize the risk of ototoxicity.

Reversible neutropenia has been reported in patients receiving vancomycin hydrochloride for injection (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Patients who will undergo prolonged therapy with vancomycin hydrochloride for injection or those who are receiving concomitant drugs which may cause neutropenia should have periodic monitoring of the leukocyte count.

Vancomycin hydrochloride for injection is irritating to tissue and must be given by a secure IV route of administration. Pain, tenderness, and necrosis occur with intramuscular (IM) injection of vancomycin hydrochloride for injection or with inadvertent extravasation. Thrombophlebitis may occur, the frequency and severity of which can be minimized by administering the drug slowly as a dilute solution (2.5 to 5 g/L) and by rotation of venous access sites.

There have been reports that the frequency of infusion-related events (including hypotension, flushing, erythema, urticaria, and pruritus) increases with the concomitant administration of anesthetic agents. Infusion-related events may be minimized by the administration of vancomycin as a 60-minute infusion prior to anesthetic induction. The safety and efficacy of vancomycin administered by the intrathecal (intralumbar or intraventricular) route or by the intraperitoneal route have not been established by adequate and well controlled trials.

Reports have revealed that administration of sterile vancomycin by the intraperitoneal route during continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) has resulted in a syndrome of chemical peritonitis. To date, this syndrome has ranged from cloudy dialysate alone to a cloudy dialysate accompanied by variable degrees of abdominal pain and fever. This syndrome appears to be short-lived after discontinuation of intraperitoneal vancomycin.

Prescribing vancomycin hydrochloride for injection 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

Concomitant administration of vancomycin and anesthetic agents has been associated with erythema and histamine-like flushing (see Pediatric UsePRECAUTIONS) and anaphylactoid reactions (see ADVERSE 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.

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