Most patients who take the prescription antibiotic known as linezolid do not experience any negative side effects, although any bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this medication should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Some of the most frequently reported side effects of linezolid include gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, and dizziness. More serious side effects of this medication may include mood changes, visual disturbances, or allergic reactions. Any specific questions or concerns about potential side effects of linezolid on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Mild to moderate gastrointestinal disturbances are among the most common side effects of linezolid. These symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. If these symptoms occur, the patient should try to consume extra fluids in order to avoid dehydration. Extreme dehydration may require a temporary stay in the hospital so that fluids can be administered through an IV. Bloody diarrhea or vomit that resembles coffee grounds could indicate potentially serious complications and should be reported to a doctor right away.
Headaches, dizziness, and insomnia are possible side effects of linezolid. These symptoms are usually mild and may lessen or completely disappear after the patient has adjusted to taking the new medication. If these symptoms become severe or do not go away, additional medical evaluation may be required. Caution should be taken when operating machinery or performing tasks that require intense focus or concentration.
Serious side effects of linezolid are rare but demand immediate medical attention when they do arise. Mood changes or altered mental states should be reported to a medical professional immediately, especially if the patient seems to be a danger to others or exhibits signs of self-harm. Rapid heartbeat, seizures, or visual disturbances should be evaluated by a physician as well. Additional symptoms may include white patches in the mouth, severe abdominal pain, or swelling of the hands or feet.
Rarely, a potentially fatal type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur when taking linezolid. Anaphylactic symptoms may include facial swelling, chest pain, or difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the throat and tongue may become so swollen that the patient is unable to breathe without assistance. Without an adequate oxygen supply to the body, permanent brain damage or death may occur within a matter of minutes. This condition should be treated as a medical emergency, and an ambulance should be called so that supportive care can begin right away.