Antibiotics Home > What Is Cefazolin Used For?

Pneumonia, bladder infections, or various other bacterial infections may be treated with an antibiotic called cefazolin. This prescription drug is used for treating these types of bacterial infections and also for preventing certain infections that may occur due to surgery. In some situations, cefazolin may be used for off-label (unapproved) reasons, such as to treat or prevent other types of infections.

An Overview of Uses for Cefazolin

Cefazolin (Ancef®) is a prescription antibiotic typically used in hospitals or other similar settings. It is given intravenously (by IV) or by intramuscular (IM) injection.
Cefazolin is approved for treating the following types of infections:
  • Respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia or strep throat
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs, such as a bladder infection or kidney infection)
  • Biliary tract infections, such as a gallbladder infection
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Genital infections
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Skin and skin structure infections
  • Endocarditis infections (infections of the inner lining of the heart).
Cefazolin is approved for treating these infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to this medication. Also, bacteria have different resistance patterns in different regions of the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to cefazolin in certain parts of the country but not in others. This drug is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu.
In some situations, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to see if your particular infection is susceptible or resistant to cefazolin. In other situations, your healthcare provider may decide to try the drug without such tests, especially for infections that are not severe.
Cefazolin is also used to prevent infections in people undergoing surgery.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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