According to the Food and Drug Administration, the antibacterial drug Zyvox (linezolid) can cause serious central nervous system reactions when taken in conjunction with certain psychiatric medications working through the serotonin system.
Linezolid is used to treat infections of the skin, pneumonia, and infections caused by the resistant bacterium Enterococcus faecium. Linezolid is a reversible monoamine oxidase A inhibitor. Because linezolid inhibits monamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down serotonin in the brain, and serotonergic psychiatric medications build up serotonin, the drug interaction may create a condition known as Serotonin Syndrome.
A toxic buildup of serotonin in the brain, Serotonin Syndrome causes several symptoms including mental changes (confusion, memory problems, and hyperactivity), excessive sweating, fever, trouble with coordination, twitching muscles, shaking and shivering, and diarrhea.
The FDA states that 29 psychiatric medications taken with Zyvox can cause Serotonin Syndrome. These include popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, and Zoloft. However, when conditions arise where it is imperative that patients take both Zyvox and psychiatric medications, the FDA stresses physicians weigh the risks of other treatments against the dangers of Serotonin Syndrome.
If you or a loved one has suffered Serotonin Syndrome as a result of taking Zyvox and a psychiatric medication, please contact an experienced defective drug attorney in your area for an initial consultation.