Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including Lincomycin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Other causes of colitis should also be considered. A careful inquiry should be made concerning previous sensitivities to drugs and other allergens.
LINCOCIN Sterile Solution contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol has been associated with a fatal "Gasping Syndrome" in premature infants.
Usage in Meningitis — Although lincomycin appears to diffuse into cerebrospinal fluid, levels of lincomycin in the CSF may be inadequate for the treatment of meningitis.
SERIOUS ANAPHYLACTOID REACTIONS REQUIRE IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY TREATMENT WITH EPINEPHRINE. OXYGEN AND INTRAVENOUS CORTICOSTEROIDS SHOULD ALSO BE ADMINISTERED AS INDICATED. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Review of experience to date suggests that a subgroup of older patients with associated severe illness may tolerate diarrhea less well. When LINCOCIN is indicated in these patients, they should be carefully monitored for change in bowel frequency.
LINCOCIN should be prescribed with caution in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal disease, particularly colitis.
LINCOCIN should be used with caution in patients with a history of asthma or significant allergies.
Certain infections may require incision and drainage or other indicated surgical procedures in addition to antibiotic therapy.
The use of LINCOCIN may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms— particularly yeasts. Should superinfections occur, appropriate measures should be taken as indicated by the clinical situation. When patients with pre-existing monilial infections require therapy with LINCOCIN, concomitant antimonilial treatment should be given.
The serum half-life of lincomycin may be prolonged in patients with severe impairment of renal function compared to patients with normal renal function. In patients with abnormal hepatic function, serum half-life may be twofold longer than in patients with normal hepatic function.
Patients with severe impairment of renal function and/or abnormal hepatic function should be dosed with caution and serum lincomycin levels monitored during high-dose therapy. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Section.)
Lincomycin should not be injected intravenously undiluted as a bolus, but should be infused over at least 60 minutes as directed in the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Section.
Prescribing LINCOCIN in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Information for Patients
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including LINCOCIN should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When LINCOCIN is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by LINCOCIN or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible
During prolonged therapy with LINCOCIN, periodic liver and kidney function tests and blood counts should be performed.
Lincomycin has been shown to have neuromuscular blocking properties that may enhance the action of other neuromuscular blocking agents. Therefore, it should be used in caution in patients receiving such agents.
Antagonism between lincomycin and erythromycin in vitro has been demonstrated. Because of possible clinical significance, the two drugs should not be administered concurrently.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
The carcinogenic potential of lincomycin has not been evaluated.
Lincomycin was not found to be mutagenic in the Ames Salmonella reversion assay or the V79 Chinese hamster lung cells at the HGPRT locus. It did not induce DNA strand breaks in V79 Chinese hamster lung cells as measured by alkaline elution or chromosomal abnormalities in cultured human lymphocytes. In vivo, lincomycin was negative in both the rat and mouse micronucleus assays and it did not induce sex-linked recessive lethal mutations in the offspring of male Drosophila. However, lincomycin did cause unscheduled DNA syntheses in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes.
Impairment of fertility was not observed in male or female rats given oral 300 mg/kg doses of lincomycin (0.36 times the highest recommended human dose based on mg/m2).
Pregnancy Category C
There are no studies on the teratogenic potential of lincomycin in animals or adequate and well-controlled studies of pregnant women.
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats using oral doses of lincomycin up to 1000 mg/kg (1.2 times the maximum daily human dose based on mg/m2) and have revealed no adverse effects on survival of offspring from birth to weaning.
Lincomycin has been reported to appear in human milk in concentrations of 0.5 to 2.4 mcg/mL. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from LINCOCIN, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing, or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
LINCOCIN Sterile Solution contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol has been associated with a fatal "Gasping Syndrome" in premature infants. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of one month have not been established. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Section.)