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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Nafcillin (Injection)

Nafcillin (Injection)

Nafcillin (naf-SIL-in)

Treats infections caused by bacteria. Belongs to a class of drugs called penicillins.

Brand Name(s):

Nafcillin Sodium
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to nafcillin or other types of penicillin.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given.
  • It is very important to use this medicine for the full length of time that your doctor prescribed. If you stop using the medicine too soon, your infection may come back.
  • An intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us) or IV injection is given through a tube put in one of your veins, usually in your arm, wrist, hand, or sometimes in your chest.
  • An intramuscular (in-tra-MUS-kyoo-ler) or IM injection is a shot given in the muscle of your upper arm, thigh, or buttocks.
  • A nurse or other caregiver trained to give injections will give your treatment.
  • Sometimes you or a family member can be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection.
  • Always wipe the top of the medicine bottle with an alcohol pad before each use.
  • You may need to mix the medicine with sterile water or sodium chloride before injecting it. Your caregiver should show you how to do this. When you are given the vial of medicine, you should also receive the sterile water or sodium chloride to go with it.
  • After you have combined the vial of nafcillin with the sterile water or sodium chloride, shake the mixture vigorously.
  • Do not use the medicine if it has changed color or if you see specks or solid pieces inside the bottle.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. Stick the needle into the rubber stopper at the top of the bottle. With the needle still stuck in the bottle, turn the bottle upside down and hold it at eye level.
  • Pull the plunger until it lines up with the number of your dose on the side of the syringe.
  • Gently tap the syringe with your finger to make any air bubbles float to the top of the syringe, just under the needle. Push the plunger in just enough so that the air bubbles go up into the bottle, and pull enough medicine back down into the syringe to make the correct dose.
  • If you are administering by intramuscular injection, you will be shown several places on your body where this shot can be given. Use a different body area to give your shot each time you use your medicine. Keeping a record of where you give each injection will help make sure you rotate body areas.
  • You should receive a container for throwing away your used needles and syringes. Otherwise, throw your used needles away in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
  • If you receive your medicine at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.

If a dose is missed:

  • It is very important to receive this medicine on a regular schedule to keep a constant amount in the blood or urine. Try to not miss any doses.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
  • Do not use two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • If you store this medicine at home, store it at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Ask your doctor how long you can keep the medicine after it has been mixed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using tetracycline antibiotics, cyclosporine (Sandimmune®, Neoral®), or Coumadin®.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are allergic to cephalosporin antibiotics (such as Ceclor®) or other medicines.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have asthma, or kidney or liver disease.
  • Some side effects of this medicine may suddenly occur after you have been using the medicine for awhile, up to 4 weeks.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Fever or sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given or where the IV is placed
  • Seizures or convulsions, muscle pain or cramps
  • Severe diarrhea, especially if it is bloody, or severe stomach cramps or pain
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Urinating less or less often than normal, skin rash, fever

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild diarrhea
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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