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What Is Dicloxacillin?

Most antibiotics can cause some patients to experience undesirable side effects.
Antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives.
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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2014
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Dicloxacillin is an antibiotic that is similar to penicillin. It is prescribed to treat bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and infections of the skin or ear. People with staphylococcal, or staph, infections may also use dicloxacillin.

It is essential for patients to finish the full, prescribed course of dicloxacillin. They should not stop taking the drug unless directed to do so by the physician, even if they feel well. This medication comes in the form of a capsule or a liquid. A patient will typically take a dose four times daily, or every six hours, with a full glass of water on an empty stomach. Before taking the liquid drug, patients should shake the bottle briskly and use a medicine cup to measure an accurate dose.

Some patients may experience mild side effects from the use of dicloxacillin. These can include an upset stomach and vomiting. Diarrhea and a mild skin rash can also occur. Patients with diarrhea should not use over-the-counter products to treat it, but rather they should contact their physicians for further instructions. In addition, the doctor should be notified if any of these symptoms become bothersome.

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Patients should call the doctor immediately if they experience more serious side effects from the use of dicloxacillin. These may include problems swallowing or breathing and wheezing. Some people may suffer from a severe skin rash, hives, and itching. Vaginal infections have also been reported, and unusual tiredness, fever, and chills are also possible.

Not all patients may be able to use dicloxacillin to treat their infection. Patients should notify the prescribing physician of any allergies they have, including allergies to cephalosporins, amoxicillin, or penicillin. Asthma, liver disease, and kidney disease may also prevent a person from using this antibiotic. The doctor should be alerted to a history of diarrhea that was caused by antibiotics, as well as any bleeding or blood clotting disorder the person may have. Diabetics should discuss their test strips with the prescribing physician, because some brands of test strips may report a false positive for sugar in the urine.

While dicloxacillin is not expected to harm an unborn baby, it is important for patients to tell their doctors if they are pregnant or become pregnant while taking this drug. This antibiotic should not be used by women who are breastfeeding, as it can pass into breast milk. Patients should be aware that this drug can lessen the efficacy of birth control pills. A barrier method of birth control is recommended.

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