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Unipen

Generic Name: nafcillin (injection) (naf SIL in)
Brand Name: Nallpen, Unipen

What is nafcillin?

Nafcillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin group of drugs. It fights bacteria in your body.

Nafcillin is used to treat many different types of infections, especially those caused by staphylococcus bacteria ("staph" infections).

Nafcillin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to nafcillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as amoxicillin (Amoxil), ampicillin (Omnipen, Principen), oxacillin (Bactocill), penicillin (Beepen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Pfizerpen, V-Cillin K, Veetids), and others.

Before using nafcillin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to cephalosporins such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Keflex, Omnicef, and others, or if you have asthma, liver or kidney disease, or a history of any type of allergy.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Nafcillin is usually given for up to 2 days after lab tests show that the infection has cleared.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking nafcillin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

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

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to nafcillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as:

  • amoxicillin (Amoxil, Amoxicot, Biomox, Dispermox, Trimox);

  • ampicillin (Omnipen, Principen);

  • carbenicillin (Geocillin);

  • cloxacillin (Cloxapen);

  • dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen);

  • oxacillin (Bactocill); or

  • penicillin (Beepen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Pfizerpen, V-Cillin K, Veetids, and others).

Before using nafcillin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially cephalosporins such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Keflex, Omnicef, and others), or if you have:

  • asthma;

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • a history of any type of allergy.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

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

Nafcillin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use nafcillin?

Nafcillin is injected 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 is usually given every 4 hours. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 1 hour to complete.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver and kidney function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Nafcillin is usually given for up to 2 days after lab tests show that the infection has cleared.

Nafcillin in vials (bottles) should be stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Nafcillin that is supplied in a premixed frozen solution should be stored in a deep freezer at a temperature of 4 degrees below 0.

Thaw the medicine either in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not heat the medicine to thaw it more quickly.

Nafcillin that is thawed in the refrigerator should be used within 21 days. If you have thawed the medicine at room temperature, you must use it within 72 hours. Do not refreeze.

Once nafcillin has been thawed, it should look clear. Do not use the medicine if it looks cloudy or has particles in it, or if the medicine container leaks. Call your doctor or pharmacist for a new prescription

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 weakness, muscle pain or twitching, numbness or tingly feeling, confusion, feeling light-headed, fainting, and 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, stop taking nafcillin and 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 any of these 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 any of these serious side effects:

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;

  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all; or

  • pain, swelling, tenderness, or skin changes where the medicine was injected.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • vaginal itching or discharge; or

  • black or "hairy" tongue.

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?

Before using nafcillin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or

  • an antibiotic such as doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with nafcillin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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.
  • 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: 7.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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