What is Kefzol&Reg;?

J.M. Densing

Kefzol® is one of the brand names for the generic medication known as cefazolin, which belongs to the cephalosporin family of drugs. It is an antibiotic medication administered via injection to treat bacterial infections. Kefzol® is prescribed for a variety of conditions including infections of the respiratory tract and the skin as well as preventive treatment accompanying certain surgical procedures. Kefzol® can cause a range of side effects including a lump at the injection site, itching, and nausea. To avoid serious complications, it should not be taken by patients with certain medical conditions or with known allergies to drugs in the penicillin or cephalosporin families.

Kefzol may be given through an intravenous drip to ensure a constant exposure to the antibiotic.
Kefzol may be given through an intravenous drip to ensure a constant exposure to the antibiotic.

Generic cefazolin is sold under the brand names Kefzol® and Ancef®, and belongs to the cephalosporin family of antibiotics. It works in the body by preventing bacteria from replicating and killing those that are already present. It is given by injection, either into deep muscle or directly into a vein. It can also be administered with an intravenous (IV) drip to achieve constant steady levels of the antibiotic in the blood. It is dispensed as a powder that needs to be dissolved into a solution for injection or in vials of premixed liquid prepared by the pharmacy.

Kefzol is commonly used to treat respiratory tract infections of the lungs.
Kefzol is commonly used to treat respiratory tract infections of the lungs.

Kefzol® is used in the treatment of a range of bacterial infections, including some that may be life threatening, but has no effectiveness against viral conditions. Some of the illnesses treated with Kefzol include respiratory tract infections of the nose, throat, tonsils, lungs, and chest. The drug also treats infections of bones, joints, soft tissue, skin, and blood as well as the genitourinary tract which includes the bladder and kidneys. It is also administered prior to and during certain surgeries to reduce the risk of infection.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction require emergency medical attention and include hives, swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat, and difficulty breathing. Side effects of Kefzol® commonly include lumps or painful redness at the injection site, skin irritation, itching, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and irritating vaginal discharge. More serious side effects rarely occur but may involve seizures, watery or bloody diarrhea, muscle pain or weakness, chills, abnormal bruising or bleeding, and yellowish discoloration of the skin. Notify a doctor right away if these effects occur.

Patients with certain medical conditions should not take Kefzol®. These include kidney disease, intestinal disorders, and liver problems; in the alternative, patients may need additional monitoring and special dosing to safely use this medicine. Women who are breastfeeding should not take it, and it should be used with extreme caution during pregnancy. Kefzol® should never be used by patients with known allergies to medications in the cephalosporin or penicillin families. Patients should disclose their complete medical history to their doctor to reduce the chances of complications.

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