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Generic Name: Nafcillin (naff-SILL-in)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Nafcillin is used for:

Treating and preventing infections caused by certain bacteria.

Nafcillin is a penicillin antibiotic. It works by stopping susceptible bacteria from making cell walls. This results in bacterial death.

Do NOT use Nafcillin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Nafcillin or another penicillin (eg, amoxicillin)
  • you are currently taking a tetracycline (eg, doxycycline)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Nafcillin :

Some medical conditions may interact with Nafcillin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness) to a cephalosporin (eg, cephalexin) or other beta-lactam antibiotic (eg, imipenem)
  • if you have asthma

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Nafcillin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline) because they may decrease the effectiveness of Nafcillin
  • Heparin, methotrexate, or anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because their actions and side effects may be increased by Nafcillin
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) , or oral contraceptives (birth control pills) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Nafcillin
  • Aminoglycosides (eg, tobramycin) because effectiveness may be decreased by Nafcillin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Nafcillin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Nafcillin :

Use Nafcillin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Nafcillin is usually administered as an injection at your doctor"s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Nafcillin at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Nafcillin contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for selecting an appropriate container and properly disposing of the container when it is full.
  • To clear up your infection completely, continue using Nafcillin for the full course of treatment even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of Nafcillin , use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Nafcillin .

Important safety information:

  • If severe diarrhea, stomach pain/cramps, or bloody stools occur, contact your doctor immediately. This could be a symptom of a serious side effect requiring immediate medical attention. Do not treat diarrhea without consulting your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Some injectable penicillins contain sodium. Contact your doctor for more information if you are on a salt-restricted diet or if your condition could be worsened with an increase in salt intake (eg, congestive heart failure).
  • Nafcillin is effective only against bacteria. It is not effective for treating viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • It is important to use Nafcillin for the full course of treatment. Failure to do so may decrease the effectiveness of Nafcillin and may increase the risk that the bacteria will no longer be sensitive to Nafcillin and will not be able to be treated by this or certain other antibiotics in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Nafcillin may cause a second infection. Your doctor may want to change your medicine to treat the second infection. Contact your doctor if signs of a second infection occur.
  • LAB TESTS, including white blood cell counts, liver or kidney function, or blood tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Nafcillin with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be at higher risk of developing blood clots.
  • Use Nafcillin with extreme caution in newborns and in CHILDREN with stomach or bowel infection or diarrhea.
  • FOR WOMEN TAKING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS: Nafcillin may decrease the effectiveness of your birth control pills. To prevent pregnancy, use an additional form of birth control.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Nafcillin during pregnancy. Nafcillin is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Nafcillin , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Nafcillin :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild diarrhea; nausea; pain at the injection site; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chills; fever; muscle pain; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; severe diarrhea; vaginal irritation or discharge.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; confusion; hallucinations; jerking movements; seizures; stupor.

Proper storage of Nafcillin :

Nafcillin is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Nafcillin at home, store Nafcillin as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Nafcillin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Nafcillin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nafcillin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Nafcillin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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