Drugs A - Z

Linezolid Oral suspension

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections

Generic Name: linezolid  |  Brand Name: Zyvox

Brand Names: Zyvox

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[UPDATED 10/21/2011] The FDA updated information on the potential drug interaction between linezolid (Zyvox) and serotonergic psychiatric medications. Not all serotonergic psychiatric drugs have an equal capacity to cause serotonin syndrome with linezolid. Most cases from the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) of serotonin syndrome with linezolid occurred in patients taking specific serotonergic psychiatric drugs, namely a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It is unclear at this time whether linezolid administration in patients receiving other psychiatric drugs with lesser degrees of serotonergic activity poses a comparable risk.

FDA will update the public when new information is available. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

[Posted 07/26/2011] ISSUE: FDA has received reports of serious central nervous system (CNS) reactions when the antibacterial drug linezolid (Zyvox) is given to patients taking psychiatric medications that work through the serotonin system of the brain (serotonergic psychiatric medications. A list of the serotonergic psychiatric medications that can interact with linezolid can be found in the Drug Safety Communication. Safety information about this potential drug interaction and important drug usage recommendations for emergency and non-emergency situations are being added to the drug labels for serotonergic psychiatric medications and linezolid.

BACKGROUND: Linezolid is used to treat infections, including pneumonia, infections of the skin, and infections caused by a resistant bacterium (Enterococcus faecium). It is a reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Although the exact mechanism of this drug interaction is unknown, linezolid inhibits the action of monoamine oxidase A — an enzyme responsible for breaking down serotonin in the brain. It is believed that when linezolid is given to patients taking serotonergic psychiatric medications, high levels of serotonin can build up in the brain, causing toxicity. This is referred to as Serotonin Syndrome — signs and symptoms include mental changes (confusion, hyperactivity, memory problems), muscle twitching, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, diarrhea, trouble with coordination and/or fever.

A separate Drug Safety Communication (DSC) is being released today for methylene blue due to similar potential drug interactions with serotonergic psychiatric medications and includes drug usage recommendations.

RECOMMENDATION: Linezolid should generally not be given to patients taking serotonergic drugs. However, there are some conditions that may be life-threatening or require urgent treatment with linezolid such as when:

  • Linezolid is used to treat vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) infections.
  • Linezolid is used to treat infections such as nosocomial pneumonia and complicated skin and skin structure infections, including cases caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Patients should not stop taking their serotonergic psychiatric medicine without first talking to a healthcare professional. Read the Drug Safety Communication for other specific recommendations for Healthcare Professionals and for Patients. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

LINEZOLID (li NE zoh lid) is an oxazolidinone antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

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cancer


-diabetes
-
heart disease


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high blood pressure


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kidney disease


-
phenylketonuria


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pheochromocytoma


-
untreated thyroid disease


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an unusual or allergic reaction to linezolid, other antibiotics or medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives


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pregnant or trying to get pregnant


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breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on your prescription label. DO NOT SHAKE. Before using, gently mix the suspension well by turning the bottle upside down 3 or 5 times. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure your medicine. Household spoons are not accurate. Take with food or on an empty stomach. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think your are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as newborn for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

-bupropion
-certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
-doxepin
-fluoxetine
-furazolidone
-green tea
-MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
-milnacipran
-procarbazine
-rasagiline
-selegiline
-St. John's wort
-tryptophan
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

-medicines for allergies or colds like phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine
-medicines for blood pressure
-stimulant medicines for attention disorders, weight loss, or to stay awake

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not begin to improve or if you get new symptoms. Your doctor will monitor your condition and blood work as needed.

You will need to be on a special diet while taking this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional for a list of foods that you should try to avoid. This includes, but is not limited to, smoked or processed meats, aged cheeses, soy sauce, red wines and beer.

Do not treat diarrhea with over-the-counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if the diarrhea is severe and watery.


Last Updated: February 21, 2012
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