Vancomycin flushing syndrome is a reaction to the antibiotic vancomycin. There are a lot of common symptoms that occur after the injection of vancomycin.

VFS is the most common adverse reaction to the drug vancomycin (Vancocin).

The term red man syndrome has been replaced by a new term, “vancomycin flushing syndrome.” The term red man has racist ties to the Native American community.

The transition from red man syndrome to vancomycin flushing syndrome has been made over the last few years.

This change has been endorsed by the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, among others, and the condition is now listed as vancomycin flushing syndrome in StatPearls, a government resource.

Vancomycin is an antibiotic. It’s often used to treat serious bacterial infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as MRSA.

The drug causes thebacteria to die. This stops the spread of the disease.

When a person has allergies to other types of antibiotics, vancomycin can be given.

The main symptom of VFS is an intense red rash on the:

  • There is a face.
  • The neck is tight.
  • The upper body.

For that reason, it was previously named “red man syndrome.” It usually occurs during or after an intravenous (IV) infusion of vancomycin. In many cases, the faster the medication is given, the more likely the rash is to appear.

The rash usually appears within 4 to 10 minutes of starting vancomycin treatment. Delayed reactions have also been seen in people who’ve been receiving vancomycin infusions for several days.

It is possible that a reaction following vancomycin is not noticed. There are also burning and itching sensations that are often observed. Other less common but more serious symptoms include:

  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • The breath was very thin.
  • dizziness
  • There is a throbbing head.
  • “It’s cold.”
  • There is a high degree of fever.
  • chest pain
  • pale skin
  • Red spots on the skin can be pinpointed.

Doctors thought VFS was caused by the impurities in vancomycin. The syndrome was often called Mississippi mud.

VFS has continued despite the fact that vancomycin preparations have been improved.

VFS is caused by the over stimulation of immune cells in the body, which is caused by vancomycin. Mast cells are associated with allergic reactions.

Mast cells produce a compound called histamine when they are overstimulated. VFS has symptoms of histamine.

Other types of antibiotics can also cause VFS in rare cases. Antibiotics that may lead to VFS include:

The main risk factor for developing VFS is receiving a vancomycin infusion too quickly. To reduce the risk of developing VFS, vancomycin should be administered slowly over the course of about 2 hours.

VFS has been found to occur more frequently in people who are younger than age 40, particularly in children.

If you have previously developed VFS in response to vancomycin, it’s more likely that you’ll develop it again during future vancomycin treatments. Symptom severity does not appear to differ between people who have experienced VFS in the past and people experiencing it for the first time.

VFS can get worse when you are taking other drugs.

  • Other types of antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin.
  • Certain pain killers.
  • Some muscle relaxers.

The drugs can overstimulate the same immune cells as vancomycin, which can lead to a stronger reaction.

VFS is less likely to develop if the vancomycin infusion time is longer. If multiple treatments are needed, more frequent treatments should be given.

There are varying reports on the incidence, or likelihood, of VFS. It’s been found to occur in anywhere from 4 to 50 percent of people treated with IV vancomycin in the hospital. Very mild cases may not always be reported, which could account for the large variance.

The rash associated with VFS typically appears during or shortly after vancomycin infusion. Once symptoms develop, they typically last about 20 minutes. In some cases, they may last for several hours.

If you experience VFS, your doctor will stop vancomycin treatment immediately. They will give you an oral dose of an antihistamine to help manage your symptoms.

In more severe cases, such as those involving low blood pressure, you may need IV fluids, corticosteroids, or both.

Your doctor will wait for your symptoms to improve before restarting your vancomycin treatment. They will give the rest of your dose at a slower rate to reduce your risk of another reaction.

VFS can occur when vancomycin is given through other routes as well, but it is most often when it is infused too quickly.

The most common symptom is an intense red rash that develops on the The upper body., along with an itching or burning sensation.

VFS can be not very serious, but it can be uncomfortable. Symptoms can be managed with antihistamines.

VFS can be developed again if you have developed it before. If you have had this reaction before, you should tell your doctor.