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Vancomycin Linked to Renal Damage in Children

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Demetria Ratchford3 years ago

New research indicates that treatment with vancomycin is associated with increased risk of renal damage in pediatric patients.

Vancomycin and Increased Risk of Kidney Damage

According to Medscape, a recent study from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center shows that hospitalized children given high-dose IV infusions of the antibiotic vancomycin to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections face an increased risk for kidney damage.

While reversible, this can cause serious complications, and study also underscores the need for newer, safer drugs to treat resistant infections.

The senior investigator Carlton Lee was quoted saying: “Our results bear out the difficult balancing act between ensuring the dose is high enough to successfully treat these serious and, at times, life-threatening infections against the small but real risk for kidney damage.”

Vancomycin is a drug reserved for the treatment of bacterial infections that do not respond to other medications, and it has been used safely for decades; however, the spread of drug-resistant bacteria like MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, brought  new dosing guidelines in 2009, calling for treatment with higher-doses of the drug when a resistant infection is suspected .

The study analyzed 175 children treated with vancomycin at Johns Hopkins between 2009 and 2010 and found that 14 percent of them developed kidney damage. The Children’s Center is now actively pursuing clinical trials to develop new safer therapies.

Other Vancomycin Side Effects

Vancomycin has also been linked to:

  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Stevens-johnson syndrome
  • Hypotension
  • Organ failure
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Death


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