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Zyvox is often prescribed for the treatment of pneumonia, skin infections, and certain other bacterial infections. It works by binding to part of the bacterial ribosome and preventing it from making protein, a substance it needs in order to multiply. Zyvox is particularly useful in situations where the infection is caused by gram-positive bacteria, but is ineffective for the common cold or other viral illnesses.

What Is Zyvox Used For?

Zyvox® (linezolid) is an antibiotic licensed to treat a variety of serious infections. This medication comes in tablet, oral liquid suspension, and intravenous (IV) injectable forms. Specifically, Zyvox is used to treat the following infections:
  • Certain pneumonia infections
  • Certain skin and soft tissue infections
  • Infections caused by the bacteria Enterococcus faecium when the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin (Vancocin®).
This medication is approved for treating infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria -- not all bacteria will respond to Zyvox. It treats infections caused by what are called gram-positive bacteria. Zyvox works against gram-positive bacteria that are resistant to several other antibiotics. It does not work for treating viral illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu.

Using Zyvox for Pneumonia

Healthcare providers separate pneumonia into types based on where the infection occurred. These types include community-acquired and hospital-acquired pneumonia (click Types of Pneumonia).
Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type. It occurs outside of hospitals or other healthcare settings. There are more than 100 kinds of germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) known to cause community-acquired pneumonia. Bacteria and viruses are believed to be the most common causes.
(Click Causes of Pneumonia to learn about the specific bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can cause this illness.)
Just like the name suggests, hospital-acquired pneumonia occurs in the hospital. It is often more serious than community-acquired pneumonia. Hospital-acquired pneumonia is usually caused by bacteria. Sometimes these bacteria can be resistant to several antibiotics.
Zyvox is used to treat both community-acquired and hospital-acquired pneumonia caused by certain bacteria. The bacteria this drug can treat include:
  • Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, including multidrug resistant S. pneumoniae (MDRSP).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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