Case report of vancomycin-induced pancytopenia

Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2016 Apr;49(2):258-9. doi: 10.1590/0037-8682-0263-2015.


Vancomycin is the first-line agent for the treatment of bacteremia, endocarditis, pneumonia, cellulitis, and osteomyelitis. Pancytopenia is an uncommon adverse effect of vancomycin therapy, with only a few cases of vancomycin-related neutropenia and pancytopenia described in the literature. We describe a case of a 56-year-old man who was diagnosed with chronic paraspinal abscess and started on intravenous vancomycin. He was re-admitted two weeks later with new-onset pancytopenia. Discontinuation of vancomycin resulted in improved cell counts. Physicians should monitor cell counts in patients who are on long-term intravenous vancomycin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / drug therapy
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancytopenia / chemically induced*
  • Spinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Vancomycin / adverse effects*
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin