This medication is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It is also used to prevent infection of the heart (bacterial endocarditis) in patients with certain heart diseases who are having surgery. This medication is known as a natural penicillin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Depending on your specific product, this medication is given by injection into a vein or into a muscle. Use exactly as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Give aminoglycosides (such as gentamicin) separately from this medication. Do not mix together in the same IV fluid.
Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, use this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
Continue to use this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Pain/redness/swelling at injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: joint/muscle pain, muscle weakness, swelling of ankles/feet, dark/cloudy urine, extreme tiredness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, new signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, change in the amount of urine, numbness/tingling of arms/legs, seizures, uncontrolled movements, confusion.
If used to treat syphilis or other spirochetal infections (e.g., Lyme disease), this medication may cause a condition known as Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This condition may occur 1 to 2 hours after you receive the medication and can last up to 24 hours. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms: fever/chills, muscle pain, worsening of skin sores, fast heartbeat, fast breathing, dizziness, flushing.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a type of resistant bacteria. This condition may occur weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of these symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as corn for products containing dextrose), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Certain products of this medication contain sodium. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are on a salt-restricted diet or if you have a condition that could be worsened by an increase in salt intake (e.g., congestive heart failure).
Certain products of this medication contain potassium. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium, or medications that can increase potassium (e.g., ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril), or if you have a high potassium level (hyperkalemia).
Kidney function is not fully developed in newborns and infants. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, newborns and infants may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), live bacterial vaccines, methotrexate, NSAIDS (e.g., aspirin, indomethacin), tetracyclines, "water pills"/diuretics (e.g., furosemide, thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide).
Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including certain urine glucose tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: seizures, confusion, mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation).
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function, complete blood count, potassium/sodium levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised January 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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