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tigecycline (Tygacil): Skin Antibiotic Side Effects & Dosage

What is tigecycline, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Tigecycline is an injectable antibiotic used
for the treatment of infections caused by susceptible bacteria. Tigecycline is
similar to
tetracycline antibiotics and has activity against a large number of
bacteria. Tigecycline binds to bacterial ribosomes which produce the cell's
proteins. The binding prevents bacterial ribosomes from producing important
proteins needed for bacterial growth and multiplication. Tigecycline prevents
bacteria from multiplying, but it does not kill bacteria. Tigecycline was
approved by the FDA in June 2005.

What brand names are available for tigecycline?


Is tigecycline available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for tigecycline?


What are the side effects of tigecycline?

The most common side effects of tigecycline are diarrhea,
nausea and vomiting.
Nausea and vomiting is mild or moderate and
usually occurs during the first two days of therapy.

Other side effects include:

  • pain at the injection site;
  • swelling and irritation;
  • increased or decreased heart rate; and
  • infections.

Tigecycline is similar to tetracycline antibiotics
and therefore may have similar side effects such as increased sensitivity to
sunlight. Tigecycline may cause permanent discoloration of teeth if used during
tooth development (last half of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood to the age of
8 years). Like other antibiotics, tygecycline can alter normal bacteria in the
colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria such as
Clostridium difficile
which causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who
develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting tigecycline (diarrhea,
fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician


Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.
See Answer

What is the dosage for tigecycline?

Tigecycline is administered via intravenous infusions over
30-60 minutes. The initial dose is 100 mg followed by 50 mg every 12 hours. The
usual duration of treatment is 5-14 days for complicated skin infections or for
complicated intra-abdominal infections, and 7-14 days for community-acquired
bacterial pneumonia.

Which drugs or supplements interact with tigecycline?

Tigecycline may decrease the elimination of the
blood thinner warfarin
(Coumadin) thereby increasing warfarin levels in blood. Therefore,
there is a potential for tigecycline to increase the effects of warfarin and
promote bleeding. Any effect on warfarin and the potential increased risk of
bleeding should be monitored by tests of bleeding.

Is tigecycline safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Administration of tigecycline to
pregnant women may cause
harm to the fetus, and use during tooth development may cause permanent
discoloration of teeth.

Use of tigecycline in nursing women has not been
adequately studied. It is not known whether tigecycline is excreted in human
breast milk.

What else should I know about tigecycline?

What preparations of tigecycline are available?

Single dose vial: 50 mg

How should I keep tigecycline stored?

The powder should be stored at room temperature between 15 C – 30
C (59 F – 86 F). Once mixed, it may be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours
(up to six hours in the vial and the remaining time in the intravenous bag). It
may also be refrigerated at 2 C – 8 C (36 F – 46 F) for up to 48 hours in an intravenous
bag after mixing.


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