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Cefazolin (Cefazolin Sodium) - Warnings and Precautions

 
 



WARNINGS

BEFORE THERAPY WITH CEFAZOLIN FOR INJECTION IS INSTITUTED, CAREFUL INQUIRY SHOULD BE MADE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PATIENT HAS HAD PREVIOUS HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS TO CEFAZOLIN, CEPHALOSPORINS, PENICILLINS, OR OTHER DRUGS. IF THIS PRODUCT IS GIVEN TO PENICILLIN-SENSITIVE PATIENTS, CAUTION SHOULD BE EXERCISED BECAUSE CROSS-HYPERSENSITIVITY AMONG BETA-LACTAM ANTIBIOTICS HAS BEEN CLEARLY DOCUMENTED AND MAY OCCUR IN UP TO 10% OF PATIENTS WITH A HISTORY OF PENICILLIN ALLERGY. IF AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO CEFAZOLIN FOR INJECTION OCCURS, DISCONTINUE TREATMENT WITH THE DRUG. SERIOUS ACUTE HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS MAY REQUIRE TREATMENT WITH EPINEPHRINE AND OTHER EMERGENCY MEASURES, INCLUDING OXYGEN, IV FLUIDS, IV ANTIHISTAMINES, CORTICOSTEROIDS, PRESSOR AMINES, AND AIRWAY MANAGEMENT, AS CLINICALLY INDICATED.

Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including Cefazolin for Injection, USP, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Prolonged use of Cefazolin for Injection may result in the overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms. Careful clinical observation of the patient is essential.

When Cefazolin for Injection is administered to patients with low urinary output because of impaired renal function, lower daily dosage is required (see  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

As with other β-lactam antibiotics, seizures may occur if inappropriately high doses are administered to patients with impaired renal function (see  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Cefazolin for Injection, as with all cephalosporins, should be prescribed with caution in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal disease, particularly colitis.

Cephalosporins may be associated with a fall in prothrombin activity. Those at risk include patients with renal or hepatic impairment or poor nutritional state, as well as patients receiving a protracted course of antimicrobial therapy, and patients previously stabilized on anticoagulant therapy. Prothrombin time should be monitored in patients at risk and exogenous vitamin K administered as indicated.

Prescribing Cefazolin for Injection in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Drug Interactions

Probenecid may decrease renal tubular secretion of cephalosporins, when used concurrently, resulting in increased and more prolonged cephalosporin blood levels.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

A false positive reaction for glucose in the urine may occur with Benedict's solution. Fehling's solution, or Clinitest tablets, but not with enzyme-based test such as Clinistix Positive direct and indirect antiglobulin (Coombs) tests have occurred: these may also occur in neonates whose mothers received cephalosporins before delivery.

Information for Patients
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including Cefazolin for Injection should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When Cefazolin for Injection is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may: (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment, and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by Cefazolin for Injection or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
 
Carcinogenesis/Mutagenesis
Mutagenicity studies and long-term studies in animals to determine the carcinogenic potential of Cefazolin for Injection have not been performed.
  

Pregnancy   Teratogenic Effects   Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats, mice, and rabbits at doses up to 25 times the human dose and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to Cefazolin for Injection. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
 

Labor and Delivery
When cefazolin has been administered prior to caesarean section, drug levels in cord blood have been approximately one quarter to one third of maternal drug levels. The drug appears to have no adverse effect on the fetus.

Nursing Mothers
Cefazolin is present in very low concentrations in the milk of nursing mothers. Caution should be exercised when Cefazolin for Injection is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness for use in premature infants and neonates have not been established. See  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for recommended dosage in pediatric patients older than 1 month.

Geriatric Use
Of the 920 subjects who received cefazolin in clinical studies, 313 (34%) were 65 years and over, while 138 (15%) were 75 years and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (see  PRECAUTIONS, General and  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Page last updated: 2012-04-12

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