Nafcillin

Nafcillin Overview

Reviewed: July 16, 2013
Updated: 

Nafcillin is a prescription medication used to treat bacterial infections that cause pneumonia, urinary tract, skin, bone, joint, blood, heart valve infections, and infections in the brain. Nafcillin belongs to a group of drugs called penicillin antibiotics, which work by stopping the growth of bacteria in the body.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects include an allergic reaction, pain at the site of injection, and upset stomach.

Patient Ratings for Nafcillin

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What are you taking Nafcillin for?

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  • Other
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Cellulitis
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial
  • Gram-positive Bacterial Infections
  • Meningitis, Bacterial
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Septicemia
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial
  • Staphylococcal Infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Wound Infection

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Uses of Nafcillin

Nafcillin is a prescription medication used to treat bacterial infections that cause pneumonia, urinary tract, skin, bone, joint, blood, heart valve infections, and infections within the brain.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Nafcillin Brand Names

Nafcillin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Nafcillin Drug Class

Nafcillin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Nafcillin

Serious side effects have been reported with nafcillin. See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects include:

  • an allergic reaction, with symptoms of itching, redness and warmth of skin, and swelling that may occur
  • pain at site of injection
  • upset stomach
  • rash
  • nausea
  • vomiting

This is not a complete list of nafcillin side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Nafcillin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

This is not a complete list of nafcillin drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Nafcillin Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with nafcillin including:

  • hypersensitivity (severe allergic reaction). This type of reaction may be serious and possibly fatal. These reactions are more likely to occur in those with a history of penicillin hypersensitivity and/or a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start to develop signs or symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction, which include the following:
    • chest pain
    • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • fainting
    • rash
  • diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics, and it usually ends when the antibacterial is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as 2 or more months after having taken their last dose of the antibacterial. If diarrhea is severe or lasts more than 2 or 3 days, contact your doctor, as this may be a sign of an infection of the bowels.
  • superinfection: nafcillin should not be used for extended periods. Prolonged use can lead to the growth of dangerous organisms that are resistant to nafcillin. Take this medication for the duration prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take nafcillin if you:

  • are allergic to nafcillin or any of its ingredients
  • are allergic to penicillins
  • are allergic to corn or corn products and are receiving nafcillin that contains dextrose in the solution

Nafcillin Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of nafcillin, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking nafcillin, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to nafcillin or to any of its ingredients
  • are allergic to similar antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins)
  • have a history of other allergies
  • are allergic to corn or corn products
  • have a history of asthma
  • have kidney or liver problems
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Nafcillin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy.

Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Nafcillin falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with nafcillin. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

Nafcillin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Nafcillin has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from nafcillin, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of nafcillin. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Nafcillin Usage

Receive nafcillin exactly as prescribed.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional.

Nafcillin Dosage

The nafcillin dose your doctor recommends will be based on:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your liver function
  • your kidney function

The recommended dose range for 500 to 1000 mg every four hours.

Nafcillin Overdose

Nafcillin is usually administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting making it unlikely for an overdose to occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.