Linezolid is an antibiotic used to treat certain serious bacterial infections that have not responded to other antibiotics (resistant infections). It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (e.g., common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually every 12 hours or as directed by your doctor.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, the dosage may also be based on weight, and they may be directed to take this medication every 8 hours.
Linezolid is related to a group of drugs called MAO inhibitors. Certain foods interact with MAO inhibitors, causing severe headache and increased blood pressure. This could lead to a medical emergency. Therefore, it is important to avoid or limit intake of these foods to reduce your risk of these serious problems. (See Drug Interactions section).
Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a relapse of the infection.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: deep/fast breathing, drowsiness, mental/mood changes, uncontrolled movements, tingling or numbness of hands/feet.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, severe headache, vision changes (including loss of vision), persistent sore throat, unusual tiredness, seizure.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, or blood/mucus in your stool.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection (oral or vaginal fungal infection). Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge or other new symptoms.
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking linezolid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high blood pressure, blood disorders (e.g., low blood counts), certain tumor or related conditions (e.g., pheochromocytoma, carcinoid syndrome), untreated overactive thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism), seizure.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
If you have diabetes, linezolid may lower your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of low blood sugar such as nervousness, shakiness, fast heartbeat, sweating, and hunger. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at a greater risk for side effects while using this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: apraclonidine, atomoxetine, bethanidine, bupropion, buspirone, carbamazepine, cyclobenzaprine, dextromethorphan, certain antihistamines (azatadine, carbetapentane, chlorpheniramine), herbal products (e.g., ephedra/ma huang), maprotiline, methyldopa, certain narcotic pain relievers (fentanyl, meperidine, methadone, tapentadol), papaverine, drugs for Parkinson's disease (such as entacapone, tolcapone), sympathomimetics (e.g., ephedrine, methylphenidate), tetrabenazine, tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, doxepin).
Taking other MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking other MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and after treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.
If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting linezolid.
The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including mirtazapine, trazodone, SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), tramadol, "triptans" used to treat migraine headaches (such as eletriptan, sumatriptan), tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: bethanidine, indoramin, levodopa, rifampin, other drugs which depress the bone marrow (e.g., cancer chemotherapy), other herbals (such as ginseng).
Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Avoid these products while taking this medication. Ask your pharmacist for additional information.
Limit your tyramine intake while using this medication and for 2 days after stopping treatment. Also avoid foods or drinks with high tyramine content during use because the combination may cause a serious rise in your blood pressure.
Foods high in tyramine include those that may change as a result of aging, fermentation, pickling, or smoking. The tyramine content of any protein-rich food (meats, fish and dairy products) may increase if stored for long periods or improperly refrigerated. Some foods high in tyramine include aged cheeses (0 to 15 milligrams per ounce); fermented or air-dried meats (0.1 to 8 milligrams per ounce); sauerkraut (8 milligrams per 8 ounces); soy sauce (5 milligrams per 1 teaspoon); tap beers (4 milligrams per 12 ounces); red wines (0 to 6 milligrams per 8 ounces). Total intake of tyramine should be less than 100 milligrams per meal.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you notice symptoms of severe high blood pressure such as fast/pounding heartbeat, vomiting, sweating, headache, chest pain, sudden vision changes, weakness on one side of the body, or slurred speech.
Contact your healthcare professional (e.g., doctor, pharmacist or dietician) for more information, including recommendations for your diet.
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases.
Your doctor may order eye tests if you are taking this medication for more than 3 months or if you have any vision changes or problems. Keep all medical appointments.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., CBC, platelets) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised November 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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