Generic Name: nafcillin (injection) (naf SIL in)
What is nafcillin?
Nafcillin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria. Nafcillin is in the penicillin group of antibiotics.
Nafcillin is used to treat many different types of infections, especially those caused by staphylococcus bacteria ("staph" infections).
Nafcillin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about nafcillin?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to any penicillin antibiotic.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using nafcillin?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to nafcillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as:
amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Moxatag, Trimox);
ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn);
dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen);
oxacillin (Bactocill); or
penicillin (Bicillin L-A, Pfizerpen, PC Pen VK).
To make sure nafcillin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease; or
a history of any type of allergy (especially to a cephalosporin antibiotic such as Omnicef, Cefzil, Ceftin, Keflex, and others).
This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Nafcillin 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 nafcillin?
Nafcillin is injected into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV 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, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Nafcillin 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.
Do not use nafcillin if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medication.
After mixing nafcillin, store in the refrigerator and use within 7 days.
Mixed medicine must be used within 24 hours if you keep it at room temperature.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.
While using nafcillin, you may need frequent blood tests.
This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using nafcillin.
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. Nafcillin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Nafcillin is usually given for up to 2 days after lab tests show that the infection has cleared. Very severe infections may need to be treated for several weeks.
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.
Store unmixed nafcillin vials (bottles) at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include muscle spasms or twitching, confusion, seizure (black-out or convulsions).
What should I avoid while using nafcillin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Nafcillin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; fever, stomach pain, muscle or joint pain; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
A delayed allergic reaction to nafcillin can occur as few as 2 days to as many as 4 weeks after you use the medication.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
fever, swollen glands, joint pain, general ill feeling;
blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all;
skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing; or
pain, swelling, bruising, or skin changes where the medicine was injected.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
black or "hairy" tongue; or
tenderness or irritation around the IV needle.
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 nafcillin?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or
a tetracycline antibiotic--doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with nafcillin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Unipen (nafcillin)
- Other brands: Nallpen
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about nafcillin.
- 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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