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This test is ordered by the doctor to measure the amount of Vancomycin in the blood. The test is also used for monitoring purposes.
The test is ordered by the doctor at varying intervals during vancomycin treatment.
This is a blood test. A sample is drawn from a vein in the arm using a syringe.
There is no special preparation needed for the test. However, the time when the test is carried is important. The sample is supposed to be collected before the next dose (trough level). You must follow all the directions detailed by your doctor in order to ensure that the test results are accurate and have not been adulterated by any kind of mistake in timing or otherwise.
Vancomycin is an antibiotic. It is used in the treatment of serious infections caused by gram-positive bacteria. This test is used to measure the amount of Vancomycin present in the blood. Vancomycin was developed in the 1950s. It was originally prescribed when organisms proved to be resistant to penicillin or when the patient himself or herself was allergic to penicillin. The use of Vancomycin reduced with the introduction of other antimicrobials like methicillin but has seen an increase again with the arrival of new strains of staphylococcus, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. The levels of Vancomycin must be monitored during therapy in order to ensure effectiveness. The effectiveness of the drug is contingent on sustaining blood levels that are a minimum concentration over the course of therapy. Higher levels of the drug must be avoided because high levels of Vancomycin can result in a severe side effect, particularly hearing damage, also known as ototoxicity, and kidney damage, also known as nephrotoxicity. The amount of Vancomycin given per dose is contingent upon various factors. These include things like kidney function, as well as the age and weight of the person, in addition to any nephrotoxic drugs the patient may be on. Decreasing kidney function may impact the clearance of Vancomycin from a patient’s body. It may lead to a higher concentration of the antibiotic in the blood. If the person is given a small amount of the drug and is not able to sustain an efficient minimum amount of it in the blood, then it is not likely that the treatment will prove to be effective. The test can also be used to ensure that the amount of drug in the blood remains at a concentration that is effective therapeutic; insofar, it is effective but not so excessive that it causes damage. Vancomycin is administered intravenously to treat infections like endocarditis, septicemia, infection of the bone, meningitis, and pneumonia. The drug is most commonly used to treat methicillin-resistant staphylococcus epidermidis and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections. Especially when they are linked with implanted prosthetic devices like heart valves and artificial hips and catheters, it may also be administered to people before specific surgeries and dental procedures in order to prevent the development of an infection. Vancomycin must be administered intravenously in order to get the drug into circulation because orally administered Vancomycin is poorly absorbed by the digestive tract. However, oral vancomycin medicine is administered to treat infections in the digestive tract where it is not necessary for the drug to be absorbed into the blood.
The test is used to measure the amount of Vancomycin in the blood. After the dose is administered, the amount of the drug rises for a while, peaks, and then falls, reaching the trough level before the next dose. The dose is timed with the falling concentration of the drug in the blood. Since the goal is to administer the drug in a way that the minimum effective amount is maintained in the blood, the measurement of the blood levels is timed to reflect the trough level and the peak at times to assess the adequacy of dosing and the clearance of the drug from the body. Trough levels are collected before the next due dose. The trough and peak levels are also used to calculate the rate of absorption and clearance of drugs. The results are also used to calculate how much should be given and when.
There is agreement about when the test should be ordered. Some doctors order it before the treatment throughout the course of therapy; some will order at peak and trough levels at regular intervals. Some feel that it is not necessary to monitor and only order tests when there is a higher risk of kidney damage or when the patient has low kidney function, is not responding to treatment, or is on concurrent medication.
If the trough levels and peak levels are at maximum, then there is a high risk of toxicity, and dosage should be altered. Trough levels must be performed to ensure that infections are controlled. If trough levels are above the minimum level guidelines, then enough of the drug should be given to be effective.
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