Teicoplanin: An investigational glycopeptide antibiotic

R. D. Pryka, K. A. Rodvold, J. C. Rotschafer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The chemistry, mechanism of action, antimicrobial spectrum, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, and clinical uses of teicoplanin are reviewed. Teicoplanin, a novel glycopeptide that is similar to vancomycin, was isolated in the mid-1970s. A fermentation product of Actinoplanes teicomyceticus, teicoplanin is a structurally complex compound made up of six fatty-acid components attached to a common aglycone. Teicoplanin's mechanism of action, like that of vancomycin, is inhibition of cell-wall biosynthesis. In vitro activity is comparable to that of vancomycin and includes staphylococci, streptococci, corynebacterium, listeria, and anaerobic cocci. Resistance to teicoplanin has been reported with coagulase-negative staphylococci. Teicoplanin is 50 to 100 times more lipophilic than vancomycin. Teicoplanin is poorly absorbed after oral administration but is 90% bioavailable when administered intramuscularly. The drug distributes widely into body tissue and is eliminated primarily renally. Optimal dosing regimens and therapeutic serum drug concentrations have not been well established. Reported adverse effects have included irreversible ototoxicity, allergic reactions with maculopapular rash and eosinophilia, pain at intramuscular injection site, and elevation of aminotransferases. Initial clinical trials have yielded conflicting results in gram-positive bacteremia, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and soft-tissue infections. Teicoplanin has shown promise in surgical and dental prophylaxis. Comparative trials with vancomycin and other antimicrobial agents must be completed before teicoplanin's role as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of systemic gram-positive infections is defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-658
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Pharmacy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


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