Oxacillin is an antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections. It is available as a generic product only, and is injected intravenously (by IV) or into a muscle (IM injection) every four to six hours. Although most people tolerate this medicine well, side effects are possible and may include nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.
What Is Oxacillin?
Oxacillin sodium is a prescription antibiotic licensed to treat a number of infections. Specifically, it is used for infections caused by staphylococci bacteria that produce penicillinase (an enzyme than can destroy penicillin). It is injected either into a vein (intravenous, or IV, injection) or into a muscle (intramuscular, or IM, injection).
Oxacillin is available only as a generic product and is made by various manufacturers (see Generic Oxacillin for more information).
How Does Oxacillin Work?
Oxacillin is a penicillin antibiotic. Penicillins are a part of a larger group of medications known as beta-lactam antibiotics, which are named after the ring-like "lactam" structure of these antibiotics. Oxacillin works by stopping bacteria from making cell walls, which eventually causes the bacteria to die.
More specifically, oxacillin is a penicillinase-resistant penicillin. Some bacteria produce penicillinase, an enzyme that destroys the beta-lactam structure of penicillin (making penicillin and other similar antibiotics ineffective for treating infections due to such bacteria). Oxacillin is resistant to penicillinase.
However, such bacteria (notably, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA) have developed resistance against oxacillin and other penicillinase-resistant penicillins. Oxacillin is ineffective against MRSA.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 30, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed October 30, 2012.
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