Linezolid

Linezolid is a prescription used for the treatment of pneumonia. This medicine belongs to a new class of antibiotics called oxazolidinones. Linezolid interferes with the production of proteins that bacteria need to increase and divide. This prevents the ability of the bacteria to replicate and grow and as a result, it stops the spread of bacterial infection. The rest of the bacteria are killed by the immune system or subsequently die. 

Pneumonia inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus that causes cough with phlegm or fever, pus, and chills. This condition can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. Pneumonia is most serious for infants and young children. In people older than age 65 and people with health problems or weakened immune systems, this condition can also be serious. The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness
  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lower than normal body temperature 

The following are the high-risk group that may need to see a doctor:

  • Children younger than age 2 with signs and symptoms
  • Adults older than age 65
  • People receiving chemotherapy or taking medication that suppresses the immune system
  • People with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system 

Linezolid can also be used for the treatment of complicated skin and soft tissues. Staphylococcus aureus is the common cause of skin and soft tissue infections. This condition reflects the inflammatory microbial invasion of the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissues. The skin is the largest organ of the body with the underlying tissue. Skin and soft tissue infections occur frequently and range in severity from superficial infections of mild to moderate severity to deeper infections. 

Linezolid can only be used to treat infections with a specific sub-group of bacteria called Gram-positive bacteria. To all other classes of antibiotics, Linezolid has a different mechanism of action. This means it can be used to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections that are resistant to other antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an example of the infection. Such bacterial infections have become more common due to the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotic treatment. As Linezolid works in a different way to other antibiotics, it may provide doctors with a new line of attack for these types of infections. 

How to use Linezolid?

This medication is to be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. This is usually taken every 12 hours or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. For children, the dosage is based also on age and weight. They may be directed to take this medication every 8 hours. 

The length of your treatment depends on the type of infection you have. Follow the instructions of your doctor carefully and ask the part you did not understand. You should not take more or less of it or take it more often than given by your doctor. 

Take Linezolid until you finish the prescription even if you feel better. Do not stop taking linezolid without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking this prescription too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics. If you missed a dose, call your doctor for instructions. Do not twice the dose to make up for the missed dose. 

What is the prescribed dosage of Linezolid?

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation
  • Sleep problems 
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth 
  • Discolored tongue
  • Vaginal itching
  • Yeast infection in the mouth 

Severe side effects:

  • Fungal infections
  • Severe diarrhea or diarrhea that is watery or bloody 
  • Nerve problems
  • Trouble seeing color
  • Seizure
  • Burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Low blood sugar 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath 

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Changes in color vision or vision problems 
  • Severe stomach pain 
  • Diarrhea
  • That is watery or bloody
  • Seizure
  • Low blood cell counts (chills, fever, confusion, weakness, skin sores, or mouth sores)
  • Lactic acidosis (trouble breathing, unusual muscle pain, feeling cold, irregular heart rate, or feeling very weak or tired)
  • High levels of serotonin in the body (hallucinations, shivering, sweating, muscle stiffness, loss of coordination, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea)

Precautions

  • This medicine may cause dizziness and may affect your ability to operate machinery or drive safely. Do not operate machinery or drive until you know how this medicine affects you. Make also sure that this drug won’t affect your performance. 
  • This medicine may cause a decrease in the normal amount of blood cells in the blood. Decreased red blood cells can result in anemia, decreased white blood cells can increase susceptibility to infections and decreased numbers of cells can cause problems with blood clotting. For this reason, you will need to have a weekly blood test to monitor the composition of your blood while taking this antibiotic. 
  • This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
  • If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor right away.
  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
  • If you have any signs of overdose, call for medical help right away.