How Does Linezolid Work?

Linezolid belongs to the oxazolidinone class of antibiotics. It works by attaching to bacterial ribosomes (ribosomes are parts of cells that make protein).
Specifically, linezolid binds to the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome and prevents it from going on to make proteins, which are necessary for bacteria to grow and multiply. By preventing bacteria from making proteins, linezolid stops bacteria from growing (this is known as being bacteriostatic) -- at the same time, linezolid kills bacteria (this is known as being bactericidal).
Because human ribosomes do not have 50S subunits, linezolid does not interfere with protein formation in humans.

When and How to Take Linezolid

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with linezolid include the following:
  • This medication comes in capsule, liquid suspension, and IV injection forms.
  • Linezolid is normally taken twice a day, about 12 hours apart.
  • When using the oral liquid suspension, gently turn the bottle upside down three to five times to mix the medicine. Do not shake the bottle.
  • Measure the oral liquid suspension with an oral syringe, accurately marked measuring spoon, or a medicine cup to make sure you get the correct amount. Regular household spoons are not accurate enough to measure medications. Your pharmacist can give you an appropriate measuring device if you need one.
  • The oral liquid can be kept for up to 21 days. After 21 days, any unused medication should be thrown out.
  • Linezolid can be taken with or without food.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not miss a dose or stop taking linezolid earlier than your healthcare provider recommends, even if you are feeling better. Doing so may lead to bacterial resistance. Also, although you will start to feel better before you are finished with the medication, your infection may not be completely gone.

Linezolid Drug Information

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