Precautions and Warnings With Cefazolin

Certain safety precautions are in place with cefazolin to help minimize potentially serious complications. Some warnings with this antibiotic include allergic reactions for people who have a penicillin allergy, possible dangers for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and risks for those who have kidney disease. Also, cefazolin may not be safe to use in combination with certain other medications, vitamins, or other products.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving cefazolin (Ancef®) if you have:
 
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • An allergy to cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics
  • Any other allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
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Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
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You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Cefazolin Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medication include the following:
 
  • Cefazolin contains an antibiotic that belongs to the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, which are related to penicillin antibiotics. Some people who are allergic to penicillin will also be allergic to cefazolin. An allergic reaction can be quite dangerous. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
 
    • A rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Wheezing
    • Swelling of the mouth or lips
    • Difficulty breathing.
 
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have kidney disease, as the kidneys remove cefazolin from the body. If your kidneys are not functioning well, you will need a lower and/or less frequent dosage.
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  • Let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While diarrhea is a common side effect of cefazolin, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction that can occur when certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile) overgrow in the colon. This severe reaction can occur long after you stop using the drug and can be life-threatening.
 
  • Antibiotics, including cefazolin, can sometimes cause yeast infections, as they can get rid of "good" bacteria that help protect against yeast infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth) during treatment.
 
  • Alert your healthcare provider right away if you develop any neurological symptoms, such as seizures, confusion, hallucinations, or coma. Problems such as these may occur when cefazolin dosages are too high.
 
  • Cefazolin should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold or the flu. This drug is completely ineffective for treating viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance.
 
  • Cefazolin may react with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Cefazolin).
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  • Cefazolin is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that the drug is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug when pregnant (see Ancef and Pregnancy for more information).
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  • Cefazolin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider about using this medication (see Ancef and Breastfeeding for more information).
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Cefazolin Medication Information

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