Red man syndrome is associated with rapid intravenous infusion vancomycin. It is a common adverse reaction of intravenous vancomycin use, and is a distinct entity from anaphylaxis due to vancomycin use.
Typical symptoms include redness, pruritus, and a burning sensation, predominantly in the upper body (face, neck, and upper chest).
Severe cases can be associated with hypotension and chest pain.
The management of red man syndrome involves cessation of the infusion; and when symptoms have resolved, recommencement at a slower rate.
In patients who are more symptomatic, antihistamines can be administered.
Intravenous fluids may be required if the syndrome is associated with hypotension.