Novobiocin Sodium

Synonyms: Natrii Novobiocinum; Novobiocina sódica; Novobiocine Sodique; Novobiocinum Natricum; Sodium Novobiocin.
Cyrillic synonym: Натрий Новобиоцин.

Chemical information

Chemical formula: C31H35N2NaO11 = 634.6.
CAS — 1476-53-5.


In Fr. and US.

USP 31

(Novobiocin Sodium). A white or yellowish-white, odourless, hygroscopic crystalline powder. Freely soluble in water, in alcohol, in methyl alcohol, in glycerol, and in propylene glycol; practically insoluble in acetone, in chloroform, and in ether; slightly soluble in butyl acetate. pH of a 2.5% solution in water is between 6.5 and 8.5. Store in airtight containers.


Novobiocin is an antibacterial which is structurally related to coumarin. It is active against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (including meticillin-resistant strains) and other staphylococci; Enterococcus faecalis is usually resistant but E. faecium may be sensitive. Some Gram-negative organisms including Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria spp. are also susceptible, as are some strains of Proteus, but most of the Enterobacteriaceae are resistant. Its action is primarily bacteriostatic, although it may be bactericidal against more sensitive species at high concentrations. It is an inhibitor of DNA gyrase and is effective in eliminating plasmids, but resistance to novobiocin develops readily in vitro and during therapy. Although novobiocin has been used alone or with other drugs such as rifampicin or sodium fusidate in the treatment of infections due to staphylococci and other susceptible organisms, it has been largely superseded by other drugs because of the problems of resistance and toxicity. Novobiocin is a potent sensitiser and hypersensitivity reactions are relatively common; they include rashes, fever, and pruritus, and more serious reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and pneumonitis. Jaundice and liver damage have occurred, although apparent jaundice may be due to a yellow metabolite of the drug rather than hyperbilirubinaemia. Other adverse effects include eosinophilia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and haemolytic anaemia; gastrointestinal disturbances are common.


Novobiocin has been associated with acute attacks of porphyria and is considered unsafe in porphyric patients.
Published May 08, 2019.