Vancomycin, an antibiotic frequently used to treat staph infections, has been found to cause a potentially deadly bleeding condition. The antibiotic has been in use for over 30 years, but a new study has found that the drug may have fatal consequences for a small but significant number of patients.
The bleeding complication is a result of decreased platelets in the blood stream. By lowering the platelet count, vancomycin may cause abnormal bleeding and failure of the blood to clot.
For serious staphylococci infections around the body, vancomyin often has success where other antibiotics fail. Researchers still recommend use of the drug for certain patients, but caution doctors to be aware of its lethal possibilities.