an antibiotic, derived from the bacterium Streptomyces orientalis, that is effective against most Gram-positive organisms (e.g. streptococci and staphylococci). Used for treating serious infections (including endocarditis and MRSA) due to strains that are resistant to other antibiotics, it is usually administered by intravenous infusion but given by mouth for pseudomembranous colitis (see Clostridium). It usually has a low toxicity but may cause deafness and blood disorders. Vancomycin and teicoplanin (a related drug with similar uses) are known as glycopeptide antibiotics.
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The new mediacal dictionary. 2014.