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Zefazone Side Effects

Generic Name: cefmetazole

Note: This document contains side effect information about cefmetazole. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Zefazone.

Applies to cefmetazole: injectable powder for injection, intravenous solution


Cefmetazole (the active ingredient contained in Zefazone) has been generally well tolerated. In large studies only 2% to 4% of patients reported side effects.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain which were reported in up to 4% of patients.[Ref]

Rare cases of pseudomembranous colitis have been reported.[Ref]


Rare cases of cholestatic jaundice have been reported.

Mild increases in liver function tests may be important in patients with liver disease[Ref]

Hepatic side effects have included rare reports of mild increases in liver function tests.[Ref]


Rare cases of anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity hepatitis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome have been reported.

A case of occupational contact dermatitis due to cephalosporin allergy has been reported in a nurse who prepared cephalosporin solutions for administration to patients. The dermatitis resolved after the nurse stopped preparing the solutions.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity side effects have included rare reports of a rash (less than 1% of patients).[Ref]


Although mild, insignificant hypoprothrombinemia has been reported. However, no clinically significant hemorrhage or increased bleeding times have been documented.[Ref]

Hematologic side effects have included very rare reports of thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, anemia, and eosinophilia.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included informal reports of hypotension and shock, but the type of infection and clinical conditions of the patients made implication of cefmetazole (the active ingredient contained in Zefazone) difficult.[Ref]


Other side effects have included a possible overestimation of urine glucose by the copper reduction method of urine dipstick analysis (Clinitest).[Ref]

The use of glucose oxidase methods (e.g.,Testape, Keto-Diastix, and Chemstrip) to measure urine glucose is recommended during therapy.[Ref]


Renal side effects have included reports of new or worsened renal insufficiency. These were difficult to interpret due to underlying diseases and concomitant therapy.[Ref]


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2. Welage LS, Borin M, Wilton J, Hejmanowski LG, Wels PB, Schentag JJ "Comparative evaluation of the pharmacokinetics of N-methylthiotetrazole following administration of cefoperazone, cefotetan, and cefmetazole." Antimicrob Agents Chemother 34 (1990): 2369-74

3. Saito A "Cefmetazole postmarketing surveillance in Japan." J Antimicrob Chemother 23 (1989): 131-9

4. Schentag J "Cefmetazole sodium: pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and clinical trials." Pharmacotherapy 11 (1991): 2-19

5. Shimada J, Hayashi Y, Nakamura K "Cefmetazole: clinical evaluation of efficacy and safety in Japan." Drugs Exp Clin Res 11 (1985): 181-94

6. Yangco B, Kenyon V, Halkias K, Toney JF, Chmel H "Comparative evaluation of safety and efficacy of cefmetazole and cefoxitin in lower respiratory tract infections." J Antimicrob Chemother 23 (1989): 39-46

7. Romano A, Mayorga C, Torres MJ, Artesani MC, Suau R, Sanchez F, Perez E, Venuti A, Blanca M "Immediate allergic reactions to cephalosporins: Cross-reactivity and selective responses." J Allerg Clin Immunol 106 (2000): 1177-83

8. Filipe P, Almeida RSLS, Rodrigo FG "Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from cephalosporins." Contact Dermatitis 34 (1996): 226

9. Ohishi M, Oobu K, Miyanoshita Y, Yamaguchi K "Acute gingival necrosis caused by drug-induced agranulocytosis." Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 66 (1988): 194-6

10. Breen GA, Stpeter WL "Hypoprothrombinemia associated with cefmetazole." Ann Pharmacother 31 (1997): 180-4

11. Stanfield J, DiPiro J "Interference of cefmetazole sodium and cefotetan disodium with urine-glucose testing systems." Am J Hosp Pharm 45 (1988): 625-6

Some side effects of Zefazone may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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