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cefazolin (injection)

Pronunciation: sef A zoe lin

Brand: Ancef, Kefzol

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

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You should not use this medication if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any type of cephalosporin antibiotic or any type of penicillin antibiotic.

Before using cefazolin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially penicillins), or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis.

Before using cefazolin, tell your doctor if you are also using probenecid (Benemid).

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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 common cold or flu.

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.

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 should I discuss with my health care provider before using cefazolin?

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You should not use this medication 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);
  • cefpodoxime (Vantin);
  • cefprozil (Cefzil);
  • ceftibuten (Cedax);
  • cefuroxime (Ceftin);
  • cephalexin (Keflex); or
  • cephradine (Velosef).

To make sure you can safely use cefazolin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis; or
  • if you are allergic to any type of penicillin.

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.

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Cefazolin 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 cefazolin?

Cefazolin 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, 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 medication.

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Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection.

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Shake the mixture well just before you measure a dose. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

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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 common cold or flu.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain lab tests to check for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefazolin.

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Store unmixed cefazolin dry powder at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light.

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After mixing cefazolin with a diluent, you may store the mixture in the refrigerator and use it within 7 to 10 days. Do not freeze. Follow the storage directions on your medicine label.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

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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.

What are the possible side effects of cefazolin?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • fever, swollen glands, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • seizure (black-out or convulsions); 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.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain, swelling, or a hard lump where the injection was given;
  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • skin rash or itching;
  • 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.

What other drugs will affect cefazolin?

Before using cefazolin, tell your doctor if you are also using probenecid (Benemid).

There may be other drugs that can interact with cefazolin. 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 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.

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