Meds and you

27 September 2013

Cefazolin

Cefazolin is a cephalosporin antibiotic.

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(Also known as Cephazolin)

Cefazolin is the active ingredient of Cefazolin Fresenius (Nappi Code: 799971-006 & 840742-002), Kefzol (Nappi Code: 735078-017 &, 805408-010), Pharmacare-Cefazolin (Nappi Code: 701885-004 & 701884-003), Ranzol (Nappi Code: 830917-004 & 830933-018) and Sabax-Cefazolin (Nappi Code: 703372-001 & 703368-001).

General information
Cefazolin is a cephalosporin antibiotic.

Cephalosporin antibiotics are a class of antibiotics with a broad spectrum of action. It is similar to penicillin in both its chemical structure and mode of action. Due to the similarity between cephalosporins and penicillin, cross-sensitivity is possible and a small percentage of those allergic to penicillin may also develop an allergic reaction to cephalosporins.

In South Africa cefazolin is registered for the treatment of a variety of bacterial infections including infections of the respiratory, urinary and gastro-intestinal tract, as well as certain skin, soft tissue, bone and joint infections. Cefazolin is also used in treating septicaemia, an invasion of the bloodstream by micro-organisms, and endocarditis, an infection of the membrane lining the heart.

It is important to note that this medication is only effective against bacterial infections - if your infection is the result of a viral or fungal infection it will be ineffective.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when a bacterium develops the ability to defend itself against the effect of an antibiotic. It may also occur with cephalosporins. The most common causes for resistance is patients not completing prescribed antibiotic courses, allowing the bacteria to recover from treatment, and the use of antibiotics for non-bacterial infections such as cold and flu.

How does cefazolin work?
Cefazolin weakens the bacterial cell wall and allows water to enter the cell, causing cells to burst.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: cefazolin is available as only available as injection
What does it do? cefazolin has an antibiotic action
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is cefazolin available as a generic? yes
Is cefazolin available on prescription only? yes

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have a kidney or liver disease

  • you are allergic to other cephalosporin antibiotics or penicillin

  • you have pseudo membrane colitis

  • you are taking other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is safe for use in children at the recommended dose.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as adverse effects may be more severe.
Driving and hazardous work: No special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: No special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
diarrhoea
X

X

stomach cramps

X
X

headache

X
X

nausea and vomiting

X
X

rash/hives/itchy skin

X

X
confusion/light-headedness

X

X
convulsions

X

X
breathing difficulties

X

X
swelling of face/throat

X

X
fever/sweating

X

X
bloody diarrhoea

X

X

Interactions

warfarin increased risk of warfarin toxicity
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increased risk of bleeding
chloramphenicol drugs may counteract each other
vancomycin/aminoglycoside antibiotics increased risk of kidney toxicity
oral contraceptives risk of contraceptive failure
probenecid increased levels of antibiotics in body

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have a kidney or liver disease, are allergic to other cephalosporin antibiotics or penicillin, have pseudomembrane colitis, or if you are taking other medication.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of an intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults: 0.5-1 g every 6 to 12 hours not exceeding 6g/da

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.
 
 

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