Oral Vancomycin

Update 11/2015 -I have had a few people email me about this asking if it is still accurate since the original post is from 2011 and YES it is!  Prices may be slightly off but still same idea!

A patient called in last week asking about Vancocin capsules.  She had been calling everywhere trying to find them, with no luck!  We discussed how they can be difficult to find and how expensive they will be even if she does find them.  She was happy to hear that there is an alternative that will help her save mucho bucks!

First some background…

Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is most commonly used IV to treat methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus.  However it can also be used orally to treat clostridium difficile (c.diff).

C.diff is an intestinal infection that occurs most often in hospitalized patients after treatment with broadspectrum antibiotics.

Treatments for C.diff  include Flagyl (metronidazole) and oral vancomycin.  Typical dose of oral vancomycin is 125mg four times a day for 10 -14 days.

Cost? Vancocin capsules cost about $1,800 for a 14 day treatment -pricey no?!  That is the cash price but even with insurance the copay is typically wicked high!  Well, good news -there is an alternative.  A  hospital outpatient pharmacy (yes, most hospitals have outpatient pharmacies) can provide the IV vancomycin liquid that can be used orally and is much less expensive because it is available in generic.  How less expensive….about $40 for a 14 day treatment (cash price) -that is a savings of about 1,760 bucks!

I have c.diff -now what? Talk with your physician about the options -Flagyl (metronidazole) is a great option because it works well and is on the $4 list at Walmart and Target.  If your physician decides that oral vancomycin is what is needed, then call your local hospital and ask to speak with the outpatient pharmacy.  Typically, the pharmacy will dispense small syringes filled with clear fluid (vancomycin)…the largest amount should be 15mls (1 tablespoon).  Small warning, it doesn’t taste that great -so you may want a chaser after you take it but it does the job and at a fraction of the cost!

How to make it easy:

1) Ask your physician to write for “IV vancomycin fluid 10mg/ml -12.5ml by mouth four times a day for ____days”

2) Call local hospital and ask if they have an outpatient pharmacy -if so, have script filled there (retail/community pharmacies will most likely not be able to provide).

3) Take medicine as prescribed!  And take a deep sigh of relief that you didn’t have to pay $1,800! 🙂

Have you taken oral vancomycin?  What do you think -please leave a comment!

If you want to use our FREE discount card –CLICK HERE!


  1. Thank you! Thank you! This info was invaluable to my parents as it was going to cost my Dad $1900 for oral vanco. When the hospital case manager called his SS secondary insurance and explained that this Rx was needed to help him in his continual battle with CDiff. They agreed to cut him $800. Still, $1100 is quite a lot to someone on limited income! When the case manager heard what I’d found from your post, she investigated further and found a compounding pharmacy and it cost $125 !!! Wow! What a difference! Thank you SO very much for this post!

  2. PS: The Case Manager thanks you, too! She said she learned something that will prove quite valuable to many others whose paths she crosses in her field of work! She had no idea!

  3. Hi Patty,

    Thank you for leaving this comment! It makes us so happy when we hear that we are helping! And I am SO happy that this worked out for you and your Dad. I am glad that you and the Case Manager will be able to spread the knowledge 🙂

    Take care -and I hope the vanco helps your dad with treating the C.Diff.


    Nova Simpson, Pharm.D.

  4. Hello my name is karrie and my grandmother has clostridium and the only medicine she can take is vancomycin and it was 700$ with her insurance. she is on a fixed income so this was way beyond her budget. After reading this post i did excatly what is says and called the out patient pharmacy and they said they couold do it for 80$!!! wow!!! Thank you so very much! my grandmother can now get the medicine for a fraction of the regular price. Everyone out there please listen to this post it is truly amazing and very insightful. Thank you again for helping my grandmother and i hope people take this seriously because you save hundreds of dollars and get the same thing! thanks!!!!

  5. I just got out of the hospital with c.diff. I took the liquid ever 4 hours. Best chaser is orange juice… And if you have your pharmacy break your Rx down to 20 pills at a time your insurance will cover it. Mine did….hope the info helps

  6. Thank you so much for this information. My father has C-diff, he had emergency surgery and had his colon removed for this 2 yrs ago. The C-diff has returned and is in his small intestine. He was discharged with an RX for Flagyl and Vancomycin capsules which cost $1040, so the DR said just take the flagyl. Now two weeks later he is sick again, not eating, drinking. I found your advice, and let him know. He got the new RX for $27.00!!!!! It disgusts me that the pharmacy or discharging DR did not advocate for him and get him the proper medication. Thank you!!

  7. My Mom has C-diff for the third time, Vancomyacin is so Godly exspensive!! If the Hospital does not have an outpatient pharmacy then what do you suggest?
    She had it filled with a compound pharmacy and try charged her $400.00 but that’s soo spendy!! My mom is disabled and on a fixed income. Please help! We live in MN.
    This Vancomyacin is the liquid form and she takes it 4x a day, but still the exspense is ridiculous!!

  8. Hi Ericka,
    The compounding pharmacy has saved you some money but $400 is still absurdly expensive! I would recommend asking someone at the hospital about what hospital in your area has an outpatient pharmacy. You can even call the main phone number, ask to speak with the “inpatient pharmacy” when you are transferred to them, ask which hospital has an outpatient pharmacy -they usually will know. If the outpatient pharmacy seems too far, I would call anyway and request them to mail the medicine to you!

    Good luck and I hope your mom gets well quickly!

    Nova Simpson, Pharm.D.

  9. Thanks im taking vancomycin right now in the hospital and thats what I will be 4aking when I leave ! This was very helpful!

  10. Very valuable info- helped me get the ball rolling to get my sister’s prescription. Patients who do not have insurance are discharged from the hospital with scrips for extremely expensive meds and they are at a serious disadvantage: they may have very little experience in accessing services. Being ill and being told your prescriptions will cost thousands of dollars is not only very frightening, it is demoralizing. I spoke with many people today with the best of intentions and a genuine desire to help my sister; but it was the concrete information I found on your site that got the process started. Thank you so very much!

  11. I had c-diff for 15 months during 2010-2011. During this time it recurred once.
    My Ins. pd $2500 -$5000 per month..I pd. a co-pay of $75.00 per mo. I now have c-diff again and a diff. ins. They are fighting this and my doctor is now prescribing it (in IV form) through a CVS pharmacy for $188.00 per mo and my co-pay being $58.00. This pharmacy is in Cypress, Ca. I live in Long Beach, Ca.

    Please respond and let me know how it’s going since this last post.

    Gratefully, Cathy Grimes

  12. If he is told to take this meds and can’t get it because of price what will happen to a person can anyone help me….

  13. It’s insane that the pharmaceutical companies can dictate who shall live and who shall die…The pill cost is outrageous and the liquid alternative is unknown by most doctors. It will take one high profile death to right this wrong!Thank G-d for the internet!

  14. I know the original post is old, but it is still valid. My sister had already been given two runs of Flagyl, and still had cdiff. Doctor prescribed pill form vancomycin, which was over $1000. I found this post, and after some phone calls, we got liquid for $93. She has no money and no insurance, so this was quite literally a lifesaving piece of information. We are so grateful!

  15. I was not surprised to see a post on Vanco solution. However I was at the date. This is nothing new, nursing homes have used it for years. The long term care pharmacy I started working at in 2001 made this. A lot of it. I can’t even remember how many times I made it myself. Simple and quick to mix, not to mention really inexpensive compared to capsules which are ridiculous BTW. They are just a hardened capsule shell with a little pill inside. You can actually hear it in there if you shake one. More doctors know about Vanvo solution than peoplIe might think, and a good pharmacist should recommend it (and where to get it made) if your insurance won’t cover it. It’s sad that all these years later, people still aren’t getting proper antibiotic treatment because doctors and pharmacists aren’t volunteering this information.

  16. This is my 7th bout with c-diff. Was in the hospital 4 days on September with mega colon, oral Vanco and Flagyl while inpatient, sent home with Flagyl and Cipro.

    Just got home Tuesday after a 5 day stay in hospital positive Cdiff Vanco anf Flagyl in the hospital. Sent home with Flagyl and script for Vanco. Insurance wanted prior Authorization. Worked with case manager, who said everything is set. Still no Vanco. Tired if being sick all the time, 4 kids at home, granted I can’t do much from the couch. The hospital I worked at is now doing bowel transplants, have an appointment with them on January.

  17. The liquid Vanco from the hospital outpatient pharmacy was going to cost me over $1,000 but my insurance DOES pay for the oral capsules. Everyone – check to see if your’s does because my co-pay was only $10 for the capsules.

  18. We had to fight the insurance company for three compound but weekend they realized it was cheaper the pharmacist talked them into it! I cant tale pills so this is a great solution for me. There is also a new solution it now called first vancomycin and it comes at cvs already ready for compounding and is easy for them

  19. Hi everyone. This is my second battle with C Diff, and I’m super worried. When I went on Flagyl for the first round, I was SO sick. So this time my doctor called in Vanco pills, and I’m hoping I won’t get as sick. I think one of the worst parts of the flagyl was the taste. Is Vanco as bad? I’m expecting to be sick to my stomach and stuff already, just wanting to hear from others with experience. Thanks.

  20. I must have some awesome insurance that I pay for through my employer. I got 112 oral vancomycin capsules for $5 copay

  21. I just got my 14 day supply of capsules for 10.00 I was sad to see the length of time the infection can last 😩

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