Background: Oral vancomycin is a first-line treatment for severe Clostridium difficile colitis. Oral vancomycin is perceived to lack systemic absorption or systemic adverse effects; however, a few cases of hypersensitivity to oral vancomycin have been reported, all in hospitalized patients. Case presentation: In the present case, a 66-year-old woman with end-stage neurodegenerative disease residing in a long-term care facility developed a maculopapular rash following treatment with enteral vancomycin for recurrent C. difficile colitis. The rash resolved after withdrawal of the drug. Conclusion: Rashes associated with oral vancomycin treatment include maculopapular rash, urticaria, red man syndrome, and linear IgA bullous dermatitis. Risk factors for systemic vancomycin absorption include renal insufficiency, severe intestinal inflammation, and high vancomycin dose and duration. Routine serum testing of vancomycin levels, even in these high risk cases, is not recommended. Clinicians should be aware that enteral vancomycin can cause hypersensitivity reactions which may be serious.
- Clostridium difficile colitis
- Drug hypersensitivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine