What is Zyvox Uses, warnings & interactions
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Zyvox (linezolid) is an oxazolidinone antibiotic that is manufactured by Pfizer. It was approved in 2000 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat serious bacterial infections including skin infections and infections resistant to antibiotics. Zyvox does not treat viral infections like the flu or the common cold.
If your doctor has prescribed Zyvox to you, you may want to know more about what it is and how it works. Here we’ll explain what Zyvox is used for, how it works, its side effects, and more.
What is Zyvox used for?
Zyvox is an antibacterial medication that is used to treat adult and pediatric patients with infections such as:
- Nosocomial pneumonia caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Complicated skin infections, including diabetic foot infections
- Uncomplicated skin infections
- Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) infections
How does Zyvox work?
Zyvox stops the growth of bacteria by interfering with protein synthesis. Without sufficient protein production, susceptible bacteria cannot grow. Zyvox is also a reversible, non-selective monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).
What are the most commonly prescribed doses of Zyvox?
- 100ml of 2mg/ml200mg IV bag
- 200ml of 2mg/ml200mg IV bag
- 300ml of 2mg/ml200mg IV bag
- 600mg film-coated tablet
- 240ml of 100 mg/5ml oral suspension
Before taking Zyvox
Before using Zyvox, tell your doctor about your medical conditions, including:
- Heart problems including high blood pressure
- History of seizures
- Kidney or liver disease
- Thyroid problems
- Bone marrow suppression
- Phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor)
- Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
How to take Zyvox
- Read the Full Prescribing Information, Drug Information, and Medication Guide that comes with Zyvox.
- Take Zyvox exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes it to you. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medication without discussing it with them first.
- Zyvox is typically taken 2 to 3 times a day with or without food for 10 to 28 days. Keep taking Zyvox for the full course of treatment, even if you or your child begin to feel better.
- If you miss a dose of Zyvox, take it immediately. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take it at the next scheduled time. Do not take extra doses of Zyvox to make up for a missed dose.
- Zyvox oral suspension should be gently mixed by turning the bottle upside down 3 to 5 times before using. Do not shake the bottle. Measure the dose of Zyvox with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Do not use a household spoon to measure out this medication.
- Zyvox tablets and suspension should be stored at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Throw away any unused suspension after 21 days.
You should not take Zyvox if you have an allergy to linezolid or any inactive ingredients in this product. You should also avoid Zyvox if you have taken an MAOI within the past 2 weeks.
- You should have weekly blood counts performed to monitor your white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
- You should notify your doctor and get an eye exam right away if you notice any vision changes.
- You should only take Zyvox with other medications that increase serotonin if there is no alternative. Monitor for signs of serotonin syndrome such as agitation, vomiting, hallucinations, fever, sweating, increased heart rate, or muscle stiffness.
- Zyvox should not be used for patients with catheter-related infections.
- As with all antibiotics, there is a risk for severe diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile. Notify your doctor if you develop diarrhea.
- You should also monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar while on Zyvox.
- Zyvox oral suspension contains phenylalanine, an ingredient that can cause serious complications if you have PKU.
Zyvox drug interactions
When Zyvox is taken with other medications, it may change the way they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. You should ask your doctor if any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may interact with this medication, including:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, and sertraline
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline
- MAOIs such as tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, and phenelzine
- Opioids such as fentanyl, methadone, and meperidine
Zyvox side effects
Some common side effects of Zyvox include:
- Change in taste
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Stomach pain
- Fungal infection
Zyvox can sometimes cause more serious side effects, including:
- Severe allergic reactions (hives, swelling of the face or throat, and trouble breathing)
- Lactic acidosis (high levels of lactic acid in the blood)
- Life-threatening skin reaction (red and purple rash, fever, sore throat, and blistering or peeling skin)
- Blood and bone marrow problems
- Visual changes
- Serotonin syndrome
- Severe diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile
- Low blood sugar
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any possible side effects you experience while taking Zyvox. You can report your adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Your doctor can prescribe other medications if Zyvox is not right for you. They will vary by factors such as side effects and cost. Some FDA-approved alternatives to Zyvox include:
- Sivextro (tedizolid)
Can you take Zyvox while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
Zyvox did not show a drug-associated risk of birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse effects on the unborn baby during animal studies or postmarketing reports. Zyvox was found in the milk of lactating rats but it is not known if it is found in human milk. You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Can you drink coffee or energy drinks with Zyvox?
You should try and limit how much caffeine you take in while on Zyvox. It can increase your risk of side effects such as increased blood pressure and restlessness.
How long will it take Zyvox to work?
While you may start feeling better in a few days, you will usually take Zyvox from 10 to 28 days, depending on the infection being treated.
What foods should you avoid while taking Zyvox?
You should avoid foods and drinks that are high in tyramine as it can cause a severe increase in blood pressure. These include aged cheeses, fermented or smoked meats, sauerkraut, soy sauce, red wine, and beer.
Can you take Zyvox on an empty stomach?
You can take Zyvox tablets with or without food. Take Zyvox with food if it upsets your stomach.
How much does Zyvox cost?
Currently, there is a generic Zyvox available on the market but it is still very expensive. The average cost of #20, generic Zyvox 600mg tablets is over $2,700. However, you can save on brand-name drugs like Zyvox through NiceRx if eligible for assistance.