FDA Safety Alert Given for Infection Antibiotic Zyvox (Linezolid)

August 1, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Drug Safety Communication for the antibiotic Zyvox, otherwise known as linezolid, an antibiotic drug used to treat certain infections.

The has issued the communication in response to reports of serious central nervous system (CNS) reactions in cases where linezolid was given to patients taking psychiatric medications that work through the serotonin system of the brain.

A list of the specific serotonergic psychiatric medications that can adversely interact with the drug can be found in the FDA’s Drug Safety Communication.

Because of these interactions, the FDA recommends linezolid should generally not be given to patients who take serotonergic drugs.  The FDA does provide, however, that there are some life-threatening conditions that may require urgent treatment with linezolid.  These include:

  • Linezolid for treatment of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) infections
  • Treatment of nosocomial pneuemonia and complicated skin and skin structure infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

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