Generic Name: cefazolin (injection) (sef A zoe lin)
Brand Name: Ancef, Kefzol
What is cefazolin?
Cefazolin is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body.
Cefazolin is used to treat many kinds of bacterial infections, including severe or life-threatening forms.
Cefazolin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about cefazolin?
You should not use cefazolin if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any type of cephalosporin antibiotic (Omnicef, Cefzil, Ceftin, Keflex, and others).
What should I discuss with my health care provider before using cefazolin?
You should not use this medicine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to cefazolin or any other cephalosporin antibiotic, such as:
cephalexin (Keflex); or
To make sure cefazolin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis;
if you are malnourished; or
if you are allergic to any type of penicillin.
Cefazolin is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Cefazolin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use cefazolin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Cefazolin is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, syringes, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Cefazolin must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.
Shake the mixture well just before you measure a dose. Do not use the medicine if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Cefazolin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Cefazolin can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefazolin.
Store unmixed cefazolin dry powder at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light.
After mixing cefazolin with a diluent, you may store the mixture in the refrigerator and use it within 10 days. Do not freeze. Follow the storage directions on your medicine label.
You may store the mixture for up to 24 hours at room temperature.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of cefazolin.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using cefazolin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using cefazolin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Cefazolin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain, or general ill feeling;
liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
stomach pain, loss of appetite;
rectal itching; or
vaginal itching or discharge.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect cefazolin?
Other drugs may interact with cefazolin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Ancef (cefazolin)
- Other brands: Kefzol
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about cefazolin.
- 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.
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