What Is Zyvox? Zyvox (linezolid) is a prescription drug used to treat various types of serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, skin infections, and infections that are resistant to other antibiotics. Zyvox works to stop bacteria
Zyvox (linezolid) is a prescription drug used to treat various types of serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, skin infections, and infections that are resistant to other antibiotics.
Zyvox works to stop bacteria growth. It belongs to a drug class known as oxazolidinone antibiotics. However, Zyvox is also a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). MAOIs are associated with certain drug and food interactions.
It is available orally as a tablet and as a suspension (liquid). It is also available as an injection. This article will focus on the oral forms of Zyvox.
Generic Name: Linezolid
Brand Name(s): Zyvox
Administration Route: Oral
Drug Availability: Prescription
Therapeutic Classification: Antibiotic
Available Generically: Yes
Controlled Substance: N/A
Active Ingredient: Linezolid
Dosage Form(s): Tablet, powder for suspension
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zyvox for various bacterial infections, including:
Before taking Zyvox, read the patient information that comes with your prescription. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Take Zyvox exactly as directed for the full prescribed length of time. Do not stop taking your medication before your treatment regimen is complete unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so. Skipping doses or stopping the medicine too soon can make your infection resistant to the antibiotic.
The oral forms of Zyvox (tablet or suspension) can be taken with or without food.
Before taking the liquid suspension, gently mix (do not shake) the suspension by turning the bottle upside down three to five times. Measure the prescribed dose with an oral dosing syringe or another medication-measuring device. Do not use kitchen tools to measure medication.
Store Zyvox at room temperature (68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep Zyvox in its original labeled container and out of the reach of children and pets. Do not freeze it. If you use the suspension form, discard any remaining liquid after 21 days.
Healthcare providers sometimes prescribe Zyvox for off-label uses, meaning for conditions not specifically indicated by the FDA.
Oral Zyvox may be prescribed off-label for:
Once you start taking Zyvox, you may begin to feel better in a few days. However, it is important to finish the full treatment, usually from 10 to 28 days, depending on the infection. This ensures the infection clears entirely and also prevents antibiotic resistance.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.
The most common side effects of Zyvox are:
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or think you’re having a medical emergency.
Serious side effects can include the following:
In some cases, Zyvox can cause long-term or delayed side effects. Some effects are mild, such as tongue or tooth discoloration or vitamin B6 deficiency.
Other long-term or delayed side effects are considered moderate, such as:
More severe long-term or delayed side effects can include:
Zyvox may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
In certain cases, your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage of Zyvox or monitor you more closely while taking this medication.
Zyvox can be used in children. The healthcare provider may determine dosing based on the child’s age and weight.
Consult your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The prescribing information states that Zyvox should be used with caution in pregnancy. There is not enough data on the use of Zyvox during pregnancy in humans. Some data from animal studies (conducted in rats, mice, and rabbits) showed that Zyvox may potentially harm or cause death to the fetus. However, this has not been seen in the limited amount of human data available.
People who are breastfeeding should consult their provider for medical advice before taking Zyvox.
In clinical studies, Zyvox was similarly effective and safe in older (aged 65 years and above) and younger adults.1 No dosage adjustment is required in older individuals. However, some older adults experience greater sensitivity to certain medications. Consult your healthcare provider for medical guidance.
Kidney or Liver Problems
People with kidney or liver problems should consult their healthcare provider for medical guidance before using Zyvox.
If you miss a dose of Zyvox, take it as soon as you can. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not take two doses together.
If you take more than the prescribed dose of Zyvox, contact your healthcare provider for the next steps. In the event of an overdose, you may need supportive care or hemodialysis for the removal of the drug.
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Zyvox, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t wake up after taking too much Zyvox, call 911 immediately.
It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress while you are taking this medicine, to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
If your or your child's symptoms do not improve within 28 days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
You should not use this medicine if you or your child have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), including isocarboxazid, phenelzine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® within the past 14 days. Also, do not use this medicine if you or your child are also using the following medicines: buspirone (Buspar®), dobutamine (Dobutrex®), dopamine (Intropin®), epinephrine (Adrenalin®), norepinephrine (Levophed®), cold medicines or decongestants (eg, phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, or Sudafed®), medicine to treat depression (eg, amitriptyline, bupropion, doxepin, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, Celexa®, Effexor®, Elavil®, Lexapro®, Paxil®, or Zoloft®), medicine to treat migraine headaches (eg, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, Axert®, Imitrex®, or Zomig®), or narcotic pain medicines (eg, meperidine, Demerol®).
Linezolid can lower the number of white blood cells in your blood temporarily, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions your doctor may ask you to take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
This medicine may cause infertility to men. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
This medicine may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. It may occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. If you have any questions or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
You may develop low blood sugar while you or your child are taking this medicine. You may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may have trouble seeing or have a headache that won't go away. Ask your doctor what you should do if this happens. Some things that can lead to low blood sugar are exercising more than normal or waiting too long to eat.
This medicine may cause a serious reaction called lactic acidosis (build-up of acid in the blood). Call your doctor right away if you or your child feel very tired, weak, or nauseated, if you vomit or have trouble breathing, or if you feel lightheaded or fainting.
This medicine may cause serious condition called serotonin syndrome when taken with certain medicines, including medicines to treat depression (SSRIs) or narcotic pain medicines. Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines. Contact your doctor right away if you or your child experience agitation, confusion, diarrhea, fever, overactive reflexes, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, or trembling or shaking.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during treatment with this medicine. Your eyes may need to be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
When taken with certain foods or drinks, linezolid can cause an increase in blood pressure. To avoid this, do not eat large amounts of foods or drink beverages that have a high tyramine content (most common in foods that are aged, fermented, pickled, or smoked to increase their flavor, including aged cheeses, air-dried, fermented, or smoked fish, meat, or poultry, sauerkraut, soy sauce, red wine, or tap beer). If a list of these foods and beverages is not given to you, ask your doctor to provide one.
Check with your doctor right away if you have agitation, coma, confusion, decreased urine output, depression, dizziness, headache, hostility, increased thirst, irritability, lethargy, muscle pain or cramps, muscle twitching, nausea or vomiting, rapid weight gain, seizures, stupor, swelling of the face, ankles, or hands, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These may be symptoms of hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood) or syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH).
Do not take other medicines unless thy have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Zyvox is not appropriate for everyone. Avoid taking Zyvox if you are allergic to Zyvox or any of its ingredients or have taken monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) in the last 14 days.
You should also stay away from foods high in tyramine when taking Zyvox, such as aged cheeses, cured/smoked/processed meats, pickled or fermented foods, and beer.
Additionally, the liquid form of Zyvox contains phenylalanine, which can be harmful to people with phenylketonuria (PKU). Notify your healthcare provider if you have PKU.
Before taking Zyvox, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions and medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, vitamins, and supplements. This will ensure your provider can prescribe Zyvox safely.
It is important to remember to avoid taking MAOIs with Zyvox. These medications should be avoided within 14 days of starting Zyvox. MAOI medications include:
Other medications that should not be taken with Zyvox include:
Like Zyvox, Sivextro is another oxazolidinone antibiotic. It contains the ingredient tedizolid.
Vancomycin is another antibiotic that is used for serious infections, as well as antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
There are many other classes of oral antibiotics, which can be used for various bacterial infections. Some classes of antibiotics and examples of drugs in each class include:
Your healthcare provider will prescribe the antibiotic expected to work against the bacteria that is causing the infection.
This list is a list of antibiotic drugs also prescribed for bacterial infections. It is NOT a list of drugs recommended to take with Zyvox. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.
Zyvox is used to treat certain serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, skin infections, and infections resistant to other antibiotics.
Zyvox works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Many drugs can interact with Zyvox. Before taking Zyvox, review your medication list with your healthcare provider. Be sure to include prescription and OTC drugs and vitamins and supplements. Do not stop or start any other medications while taking Zyvox unless you check with your healthcare provider first. Some examples of drugs that interact with Zyvox include triptans, antidepressants, opioid pain medications, and MAO inhibitors.
You may start to feel better within a few days after beginning Zyvox. Still, it is important to finish the full course of therapy to ensure the infection clears and prevent antibiotic resistance.
The most common side effects of Zyvox are stomach problems (pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), headache, dizziness, rash, and high blood pressure.
Some side effects are rare but can be serious or life-threatening. If you have symptoms of an allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling around the face, get emergency medical help right away. If you have signs of a serious skin reaction such as red or purple rash, fever, sore throat, burning eyes, or blistering or peeling skin, seek emergency medical attention.
Your healthcare provider will advise you on how long to take Zyvox and when you can stop.
Before taking Zyvox, discuss your medical conditions and history with your healthcare provider.
Many drugs interact with Zyvox. Tell your healthcare provider about your medications, including prescription and OTC drugs, vitamins, and supplements. This helps ensure that Zyvox will be prescribed safely and that your healthcare provider can monitor you appropriately while you take Zyvox. Check with your healthcare provider before you start or stop any other medications. Notify them if you start to have any vision changes.
Zyvox may lower your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may adjust your insulin or diabetes medication dose. Monitor your blood sugar carefully and notify your healthcare provider of hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes. Be sure to have fast-acting carbohydrates (such as glucose tablets) with you. Also, keep glucagon (injection or nasal spray) on hand in case of a low blood sugar emergency.
Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.