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cefazolin

Pronunciation

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).

Slideshow: Is it Safe to Give Human Medicine to Pets?

Always get your pet's drug and dose recommendation from the veterinarian.

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:

  • cefaclor (Raniclor);

  • cefadroxil (Duricef);

  • cefdinir (Omnicef);

  • cefditoren (Spectracef);

  • cefazolin (Ancef);

  • cefpodoxime (Vantin);

  • cefprozil (Cefzil);

  • ceftibuten (Cedax);

  • cefuroxime (Ceftin);

  • cephalexin (Keflex); or

  • cephradine (Velosef).

To make sure cefazolin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis;

  • if you are malnourished; or

  • if you are allergic to any type of penicillin.

FDA pregnancy category B. Cefazolin is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

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 any of these 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;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • 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)

Cefazolin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cholecystitis:

Mild infections due to susceptible gram-positive cocci: 250 to 500 mg IV or IM every 8 hours
Moderate to severe infections: 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM every 6 to 8 hours
Severe, life-threatening infections (e.g., endocarditis, septicemia): 1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; in rare cases, up to 12 g/day has been used

Usual Adult Dose for Joint Infection:

Mild infections due to susceptible gram-positive cocci: 250 to 500 mg IV or IM every 8 hours
Moderate to severe infections: 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM every 6 to 8 hours
Severe, life-threatening infections (e.g., endocarditis, septicemia): 1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; in rare cases, up to 12 g/day has been used

Usual Adult Dose for Osteomyelitis:

Mild infections due to susceptible gram-positive cocci: 250 to 500 mg IV or IM every 8 hours
Moderate to severe infections: 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM every 6 to 8 hours
Severe, life-threatening infections (e.g., endocarditis, septicemia): 1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; in rare cases, up to 12 g/day has been used

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

Mild infections due to susceptible gram-positive cocci: 250 to 500 mg IV or IM every 8 hours
Moderate to severe infections: 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM every 6 to 8 hours
Severe, life-threatening infections (e.g., endocarditis, septicemia): 1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; in rare cases, up to 12 g/day has been used

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Infection:

Mild infections due to susceptible gram-positive cocci: 250 to 500 mg IV or IM every 8 hours
Moderate to severe infections: 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM every 6 to 8 hours
Severe, life-threatening infections (e.g., endocarditis, septicemia): 1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; in rare cases, up to 12 g/day has been used

Usual Adult Dose for Septicemia:

1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; doses up to 12 g/day have been used

Usual Adult Dose for Endocarditis:

1 to 1.5 g IV every 6 hours; doses up to 12 g/day have been used

American Heart Association (AHA) recommendation: 2 g IV every 8 hours

Duration (AHA recommendations):
Native valve infections due to oxacillin-susceptible strains of staphylococci in penicillin-allergic (nonanaphylactoid type) patients: 6 weeks; may be used with or without gentamicin (3 mg/kg/day IV or IM in 2 or 3 divided doses during the first 3 to 5 days)

Prosthetic valve infections due to oxacillin-susceptible strains of staphylococci in penicillin-allergic (nonanaphylactoid type) patients: 6 weeks or longer; should be used with gentamicin (3 mg/kg/day IV or IM in 2 or 3 divided doses during the first 2 weeks) and rifampin (900 mg/day IV or orally in 3 divided doses for 6 weeks or longer)

Due to susceptible Streptococcus pyogenes or S pneumoniae (as an alternative to penicillin): 4 weeks

Due to susceptible strains of group B, C, or G streptococci (as an alternative to penicillin): 4 to 6 weeks; some clinicians recommend using gentamicin during at least the first 2 weeks

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia:

Pneumococcal pneumonia: 500 mg IV or IM every 12 hours

Usual Adult Dose for Urinary Tract Infection:

Acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections: 1 g IV or IM every 12 hours

Usual Adult Dose for Surgical Prophylaxis:

Preoperative: 1 g IV or IM to 2 g IV 30 to 60 minutes prior to the start of surgery
Intraoperative (for procedures lasting 2 hours or more): 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM during surgery
Postoperative: 500 mg to 1 g IV or IM every 6 to 8 hours for 24 hours (3 to 5 days in high risk)

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

(Not approved by FDA)

AHA recommendation:
As an alternative in patients unable to take oral medication, with or without penicillin allergy (nonanaphylactoid type): 1 g IV or IM as a single dose 30 to 60 minutes before procedure

Usual Adult Dose for Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease:

(Not approved by FDA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation:
As an alternative for penicillin-allergic (nonanaphylactoid type) patients: 2 g IV once, followed by 1 g IV every 8 hours until delivery

Usual Adult Dose for Peritonitis:

(Not approved by FDA)

1 to 2 g IV every 6 to 8 hours
Maximum dose: 12 g/day

Empiric therapy of CAPD-associated peritonitis: 1 g/2 L exchange plus ceftazidime 1 g/2 L per day intraperitoneally

Maintenance therapy of CAPD-associated peritonitis: 1 g/2 L exchange intraperitoneally as a loading dose, followed by 250 mg/2 L exchange continuously
Doses should be increased by 25% to 30% for nonanuric patients.

Duration: 10 to 14 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Infection:

1 month or older:
Mild to moderate infections: 25 to 50 mg/kg/day IV or IM in 3 or 4 equally divided doses
Severe infections: 100 mg/kg/day IV or IM in 3 or 4 equally divided doses
Maximum dose: 6 g/day

(Not approved by FDA)
Neonates:
Postnatal age of 7 days or less: 20 mg/kg every 12 hours

Postnatal age of greater than 7 days:
2000 g or less: 20 mg/kg every 12 hours
Greater than 2000 g: 20 mg/kg every 8 hours

Usual Pediatric Dose for Endocarditis:

1 month or older: 100 mg/kg/day IV or IM in 3 or 4 equally divided doses
Maximum dose: 6 g/day

AHA recommendation: 100 mg/kg/day IV in 3 divided doses
Maximum dose: 6 g/day

Duration (AHA recommendations):
Native valve infections due to oxacillin-susceptible strains of staphylococci in penicillin-allergic (nonanaphylactoid type) patients: 6 weeks; may be used with or without gentamicin (1 mg/kg IV or IM every 8 hours during the first 3 to 5 days)

Prosthetic valve infections due to oxacillin-susceptible strains of staphylococci in penicillin-allergic (nonanaphylactoid type) patients: 6 weeks or longer; should be used with gentamicin (3 mg/kg/day IV or IM in 2 or 3 divided doses during the first 2 weeks) and rifampin (20 mg/kg/day IV or orally in 3 divided doses for 6 weeks or longer)

Due to susceptible S pyogenes or S pneumoniae (as an alternative to penicillin): 4 weeks

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

(Not approved by FDA)

AHA recommendation:
As an alternative in patients unable to take oral medication, with or without penicillin allergy (nonanaphylactoid type): 50 mg/kg (maximum 1 g) IV or IM as a single dose 30 to 60 minutes before procedure

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.

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.
  • Disclaimer: 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 2014-10-27, 1:46:27 PM.

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