Vancomycin is a glycopeptide antibiotic used in the treatment of Gram-positive infections, particularly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Mechanism of action

Mechanism of action
  • Inhibits cell wall formation by binding to D-Ala-D-Ala moieties, preventing polymerization of peptidoglycans

Mechanism of resistance
  • Alteration to the terminal amino acid residues of the NAM/NAG-peptide subunits (normally D-alanyl-D-alanine) to which the antibiotic binds

Adverse effects

  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Ototoxicity
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Red man syndrome; occurs on rapid infusion of vancomycin