CEFAZOLIN is a cephalosprin antibiotic. It is used to treat or prevent certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Compare cephalosporin antibiotics.

What is Ancef?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Ancef

Therapeutic ClassificationsAntibiotic

Pharmacologic Classifications1st Generation Cephalosporin




Cefazolin is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. This medicine is also given before certain types of surgery to prevent infections.

Cefazolin belongs to the class of medicines known as cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other virus infections.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles or through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of cefazolin in children.

Because of cefazolin's toxicity, use in newborn and premature babies is not recommended.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of cefazolin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving cefazolin.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast FeedingTOP

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. Effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Kidney disease, severe or
  • Liver disease, severe or
  • Undernourished condition—May be worsened by cefazolin and you may need to take Vitamin K.
  • Stomach or bowel disease (e.g., colitis or severe diarrhea), history of or
  • Seizures—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.


If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Cefazolin may cause diarrhea, and in some cases it can be severe. Do not take any medicine to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. Diarrhea medicines may make the diarrhea worse or make it last longer. If you have any questions about this or if mild diarrhea continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are using this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes calcium-containing solutions for injection, prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

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