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What is linezolid?

Linezolid is an antibiotic that works by stopping the growth of certain bacteria (bugs) that can cause infections.

Linezolid is used in some people to treat chest infections and some skin or soft tissue infections. It can also be used ‘off-licence’ meaning outside of the terms of use by the manufacturer. This means your doctor will have considered all options and prescribed linezolid if they think it will be the most effective treatment.

Resistance to linezolid can develop with prolonged treatment or if the dose is less than that recommended.

When and how should you take linezolid?

Linezolid comes in tablet or liquid form.

Tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

You must complete the course prescribed by your doctor unless you are told to stop

Linezolid can be taken regardless of meals at times evenly spaced throughout the day.


Whilst taking Linezolid you will need regular blood tests, usually weekly. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when you need them.

Why do I need regular blood tests while on linezolid?

Linezolid can reduce the production of some blood cells. This reduction can make you more likely to get infections and anaemia. By having regular blood tests your doctor can monitor your condition and review your treatment.


Please tell the pharmacy team if you are on any other medication including inhalers, they will be able to check to make sure there are no interactions and give you any advice.

Please tell the doctor, nurse or pharmacy team if you suffer from a condition called phenylketonuria or if you are on a ketogenic diet.

You must also tell your doctor or pharmacy team member if you are taking cold or flu decongestants or cough medication.

Drinking alcohol should be avoided whilst taking linezolid.

There are certain kinds of food which contain tyramine which can react with linezolid which should also be avoided:

  • mature cheese
  • yeast extracts (Marmite and Vegemite)
  • fermented soya bean products – soy sauce

Side effects

Side effects from Linezolid in children are not common but may include:

  • fungal infections, especially vaginal or oral thrush
  • headaches
  • metallic taste in the mouth
  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick)
  • difficulty sleeping
  • pins and needles
  • rash
  • blurred vision or changes to your normal eye sight

If you have any changes in your eyesight you must tell seek medical advice as soon as possible.

You may not suffer any effects from taking linezolid but please inform your doctor, nurse or pharmacy team if you think you may have side effects.


Before using the liquid

Gently turn the bottle upside down a few times but do not shake. Once the medicine has been prepared (had the water added by pharmacy) it can only be used for 21 days. If you have any medicine left after 21 days do not use it.

For both tablets and liquids

  • Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Keep the bottle in the outer carton in order to protect it from light.
  • Do not use after the expiry date on the box or bottle.


Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. This will help protect the environment.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: PHA11

Resource Type: Article

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