Active Ingredients

Teicoplanin – Effect, Application & Risks


Teicoplanin is a pharmacological active ingredient that belongs to the group of antibiotics . For this reason, the drug is primarily used in the treatment of infections caused by various types of bacteria . The substance teicoplanin is particularly effective against so-called gram-positive germs .

What is teicoplanin?

The drug teicoplanin belongs to the pharmacological category of antibiotics. From a chemical point of view, this antibiotic is a member of the glycopeptide group. In order to create the basis for medical use, the active substance teicoplanin is isolated from a special type of bacteria in the first step. This strain of bacteria is Actinoplanes teichomyceticus.

In principle, antibiotics from the group of glycopeptides represent reserve antibiotics. These are only suitable for the treatment of infectious diseases that are triggered by gram-positive bacteria. Corresponding drugs are only administered when other drugs are no longer effective, for example due to resistance.

In only one case was the antibiotic teicoplanin treated as the drug of first choice and not as a reserve antibiotic. If pseudomembranous colitis associated with other antibiotics is present, the glycopeptide teicoplanin should be given promptly. There are basically two types of active ingredient: teicoplanin and vancomycin .

Pharmacological action

Teicoplanin is primarily characterized by its bactericidal, i.e. bacteria-killing, effect. To a certain extent, the substance also shows bacteriostatic effects when used in the therapy of anaerobic and aerobic germs. The drug is also effective against anaerobic gram-positive pathogens.

The action of the drug is due to the fact that it inhibits the synthesis of the cell walls of bacteria. For this reason, teicoplanin impairs the reproduction of the pathogens. This effect is typical for antibiotics from the group of glycopeptides, since all representatives of this category inhibit the formation of bacterial cell walls in gram-positive germs.

For this reason, it is advisable to use the active ingredient teicoplanin in cases where there are infections caused by bacteria. A prerequisite for the effectiveness of the pharmacological substance is that the germs are sensitive to the active substance.

Teicoplanin is hardly absorbed, which is why it is administered parenterally in the majority of cases. The treatment of pseudomembranous colitis is a special case. Here, the drug teicoplanin is administered orally.

Medical Application & Use

Teicoplanin is used in a variety of bacterial infections where other antibiotics are no longer effective. For example, it is used for resistant gram-positive bacteria or when the affected patients suffer from an allergy to penicillin or cephalosporins .

The drug is also often prescribed for the treatment of pseudomembranous colitis. In addition, teicoplanin is also suitable for the treatment of heart valve inflammation caused by enterococci or staphylococci .

The drug is also effective in bone marrow infections . In addition, the drug can be used in the event of a desired intestinal sterilization if patients are taking immunosuppressive drugs .

The dosage of the drug teicoplanin is carried out according to the product information. In the majority of cases, the drug is injected either intravenously or intramuscularly. To treat a special form of enterocolitis, teicoplanin is administered orally. When taken orally, the drug teicoplanin acts directly in the intestine , absorption does not take place. In this case, it is usually taken in the form of tablets. In the case of parenteral administration of the drug, infusions are usually used.

In principle, the area of ​​application of the drug teicoplanin extends to various bacterial infections that are triggered by sensitive gram-positive germs.

Teicoplanin also plays a special role as a substitute drug if the affected patients suffer from a cephalosporin or penicillin allergy. In addition, teicoplanin is used to treat multidrug -resistant MRSA and enterococci. Here, however, it is only used as a reserve drug.

With pseudomembranous colitis, the drug is also effective. This is a disease that can result from treatment with antibiotics. This is because the balance of the intestinal flora is often impaired, so that bacteria of the Clostridium difficile strain spread rapidly. As a result, inflammation of the mucous membranes in the large and small intestine is possible.

Glycopeptides are particularly large molecules and are therefore unable to pass from the intestine into the blood . For this reason, they only act locally in the intestine, so that the risk of side effects is reduced.

Risks & side effects

Undesirable side effects are possible during therapy with the drug Teicoplanin. For example, some patients experience skin rashes , itching , myalgia , or fever .

It is possible that both the inner ear and the kidneys are damaged during treatment with glycopeptides. For this reason, it is imperative during therapy with teicoplanin that the hearing function and the performance of the kidneys are continuously monitored by the attending physician.

In addition, there is sometimes a temporarily increased concentration of liver enzymes .

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.