Linezolid, widely known under its brand name, Zyvox, is an antibiotic prescribed to remedy specific types of bacterial infections. The job of this medicine is to stifle bacterial growth. It does not cure viral infections. Linezolid is used to treat certain types of pneumonia and complex skin infections caused by particular strains of staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pneumoniae and other types of susceptible bacteria.
The overarching category of drugs that linezolid falls into is oxazolidinones, initially developed as MAO inhibitors (or MAOIs). The drugs in this classification treat depression, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions. They are designed to alter the chemistry of the brain. Monoamine oxidase, or MAO, is an enzyme that plays a role in degrading the neurotransmitters that lift our mood, such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Because MAOIs inhibit this action, they function as antidepressants.
How Zyvox May Be Administered
Linezolid in liquid form is often administered by a medical professional through intravenous infusion, commonly referred to as an IV. The procedure may take from a half-hour to two hours, two times per day for 10 to 28 days. Under some circumstances, a doctor may allow the patient or caregiver to administer the infusion at home with specific instructions that must be followed to the letter.
An oral intake of Zyvox is usually prescribed to take every 12 hours or as directed by the prescribing physician. For children, the time span may be less based on age and weight. Be aware that skipping or ceasing the medication prematurely runs the risk of the infection not yet being eradicated and bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant.
Side Effects of Zyvox
Side effects from MAO inhibitors may result from risky interaction with some foods, namely aged cheese, sauerkraut, cured meats, draft beer and fermented soy products. There may be more foods on this cautionary list. While taking Zyvox, seek dietary guidance from a physician or dietitian, and expect to adhere to a special diet.
As with any drug, prescription or over-the-counter, be aware of drug interactions. Be sure the medical practitioner prescribing medication for you is aware of all pharmaceutical products and supplements currently taken. This is an important safety precaution to avoid adverse reactions that may interfere with the benefits your prescription is intended to deliver.
Medicare Coverage of Zyvox
If Zyvox is administered in an outpatient setting through an IV, Medicare Part B may help cover the costs. If you are prescribed the oral medication to take at home, you will need Medicare Part D to help cover the costs.
Medicare Part D is drug coverage, but it is optional, and you must initiate the application with a private Medicare-approved insurance carrier. Neither Part A nor Part B will include Medicare insurance for pharmaceutical products.
You can choose to enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan if you have Original Medicare, or you can also choose to get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD). Although Part D is not mandatory, it is important to enroll once you become eligible lest a late penalty be imposed when you decide to enroll later. Part D plans vary in cost and coverage, so check the plan’s formulary to identify the drugs covered in the plan.