|Other names||Nafcillin sodium|
|Drug class||Antibiotic (penicillin)|
|Main uses||Treat and prevent straphylococcal infections|
|Side effects||Pain at injection site, anaphylaxis, Clostridioides difficile infection|
|Elimination half-life||0.5 hours|
|Excretion||Biliary and kidney|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||414.48 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Nafcillin, sold under the brand name Unipen among others, is an antibiotic used to treat and prevent straphylococcal infections. This includes includes of the skin, respiratory tract, urine, and blood. It is not effective against MRSA. It is given by injection into a vein or muscle.
Common side effects include pain and inflammation at the site of injection. Other side effects may include anaphylaxis and Clostridioides difficile infection. There is no evidence of harm with use in pregnancy, though such use has not been well studied. It is a beta-lactam antibiotic of the penicillin type. It is penicillinase resistant.
Nafcillin was approved for medical use in the United States in 1965. In the United States 10 doses of 2 grams costs about 90 USD as of 2021. In 2012, out of 38 countries it was only available in one.
It is given at a dose of 500 to 2,000 mg every 4 to 6 hours.
Serious life-threatening allergic reactions can occur.
Milder side-effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea, often due to suppression of normal gastrointestinal bacteria, which, on occasion, leads to a more serious super-infection with an organism like Clostridium difficile
- Abdominal pain
- Yeast infections (thrush) affecting the mouth and tongue or vagina
- Agranulocytosis, neutropenia
Nafcillin contains salts added as stability media. These added salts could cause edema or fluid accumulation. It would be prudent to avoid this medication if there were a concern for a congestive heart failure or kidney disease.
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