Vancomycin trough

For vancomycin to be most effective against infections, the concentration of the antibiotic in the body must be carefully monitored.

Vancomycin trough Overview

Reviewed: April 23, 2014

Vancomycin is an antibiotic used to treat serious infections. Trough concentration of vancomycin in the blood is drawn 30 minutes prior to the next dose. The trough is what clinicians monitor to make sure that a patient has an effective dose of vancomycin. Generally should be about 2 times the minimum inhibitory concentration.

Vancomycin trough is measured in micrograms/milliliters (mcg/mL). The recommended ranges for vancomycin trough are the following:

  • Uncomplicated infections: 10-15 mcg/mL
  • Serious infections: 15-20 mcg/mL


Blood draw


No preparation needed, but timing of the sample for testing is important.

Follow your doctor's directions.

What the results mean

Elevated trough levels indicate a risk for nephrotoxicity.

Levels below 10 mcg/mL can indicate inadequate therapy and may be associated with increased risk of developing bacterial resistance.