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All about: cefazolin

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Generic Name: cefazolin (sef az O lin)
Brand Names: Ancef, Kefzol

What is cefazolin?

Cefazolin is an antibiotic in a class of drugs called cephalosporins. Cefazolin fights bacteria in the body.

Cefazolin is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections including respiratory, skin, genital, urinary, bone, joint, and other infections.

Cefazolin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about cefazolin?

If you are injecting cefazolin at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on how and where to inject the medication. If you do not understand these directions, do not attempt to inject the medication. Contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using cefazolin?

Do not use cefazolin if you have ever had an allergic reaction to another cephalosporin or to a penicillin without first talking to your doctor.

Before using cefazolin, tell your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • diabetes; or

  • a gastrointestinal (digestive) disease such as colitis.

You may not be able to use cefazolin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Cefazolin is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not, however, use cefazolin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Cefazolin passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use cefazolin?

Cefazolin will be administered by a healthcare provider intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle).

If you are injecting cefazolin at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on how and where to inject the medication. If you do not understand these directions, do not attempt to inject the medication. Contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

Do not use any cefazolin that is discolored, has particles in it, or looks different from your previous doses. Throw away any unused cefazolin after the amount of time determined by your pharmacist or doctor.

Dispose of used needles and syringes in a puncture resistant container out of the reach of children.

Your healthcare provider will store cefazolin as directed by the manufacturer or give you detailed storage instructions if you are storing the medication at home.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Talk to your doctor if you miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

What should I avoid while using cefazolin?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity during treatment with cefazolin unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Cefazolin side effects

If you experience any of the following rare but serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; hives; or a rash);

  • rash, redness, or itching;

  • severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;

  • mucous or blood in the stool; or

  • unusual bleeding or bruising.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience

  • mild nausea or diarrhea;

  • yeast infection of the mouth or vagina; or

  • pain or tenderness at the injection site.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect cefazolin?

Before using cefazolin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • a loop diuretic (water pill) such as furosemide, bumetanide (Bumex), torsemide (Demadex), or ethacrynic acid (Edecrin);

  • warfarin (Coumadin); or

  • another antibiotic.

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with cefazolin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about cefazolin written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Cefazolin is available with a prescription under the brand names Kefzol and Ancef in several injectable formulations. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01. Revision Date: 8/18/05 10:48:22 AM.

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