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Glycopeptides and Lipoglycopeptides

By

Brian J. Werth

, PharmD, University of Washington School of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jun 2022| Content last modified Jun 2022
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Glycopeptides and lipoglycopeptides include the following:

  • Dalbavancin

  • Oritavancin

  • Teicoplanin

  • Telavancin

  • Vancomycin

Most bacteria have an outer covering (cell wall) that protects them. Glycopeptides and lipoglycopeptides work by preventing gram-positive bacteria from forming this cell wall, resulting in the death of the bacteria.

Table

Glycopeptides and Lipoglycopeptides

Drug

Common Uses*

Some Potential Side Effects

Dalbavancin

Gastrointestinal upset

Metallic taste

Foamy urine

Flushing and itching of the face, neck, and shoulders†

Oritavancin

Gastrointestinal upset

Metallic taste

Foamy urine

Headache

Flushing and itching of the face, neck, and shoulders†

Teicoplanin‡

Kidney damage

Hearing loss and deafness

A decrease in the platelet and white blood cell counts

Flushing and itching of the face, neck, and shoulders†

Telavancin

Gastrointestinal upset

Metallic taste

Foamy urine

Kidney damage

Dizziness

A decrease in the platelet count

Flushing and itching of the face, neck, and shoulders†

Vancomycin

Flushing and itching of the face, neck, and shoulders†

Kidney damage

Hearing loss

A decrease in white blood cell and platelet counts

* These drugs are given by injection into a vein except where noted.

† These side effects are usually relieved by slowing the infusion.

‡ Teicoplanin is currently not available in the United States.

Use of Glycopeptides and Lipoglycopeptides During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Use of glycopeptides and lipoglycopeptides during pregnancy is not recommended, but sometimes the benefits of treatment may outweigh the risks. For example, vancomycin taken by mouth may be used to treat C. difficile–induced diarrhea in pregnant women. (See also Drug Use During Pregnancy Drug Use During Pregnancy More than 50% of pregnant women take prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) drugs or use social drugs (such as tobacco and alcohol) or illicit drugs at some time during pregnancy... read more .)

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