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The reported incidence of allergic reactions to penicillin ranges from 0.7 to 10 percent (see WARNINGS). Sensitization is usually the result of treatment, but some individuals have had immediate reactions to penicillin when first treated. In such cases, it is thought that the patients may have had prior exposure to the drug via trace amounts present in milk or vaccines. Two types of allergic reactions to penicillins are noted clinically, immediate and delayed.
Immediate reactions usually occur within 20 minutes of administration and range in severity from urticaria and pruritus to angioneurotic edema, laryngospasm, bronchospasm, hypotension, vascular collapse, and death. Such immediate anaphylactic reactions are very rare (see WARNINGS) and usually occur after parenteral therapy but have occurred in patients receiving oral therapy. Another type of immediate reaction, an accelerated reaction, may occur between 20 minutes and 48 hours after administration and may include urticaria, pruritus, and fever.
Although laryngeal edema, laryngospasm, and hypotension occasionally occur, fatality is uncommon. Delayed allergic reactions to penicillin therapy usually occur after 48 hours and sometimes as late as 2 to 4 weeks after initiation of therapy. Manifestations of this type of reaction include serum sickness-like symptoms (i.e., fever, malaise, urticaria, myalgia, arthralgia, abdominal pain) and various skin rashes. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomatitis, black or hairy tongue, and other symptoms of gastrointestinal irritation may occur, especially during oral penicillin therapy.
Pain, swelling, inflammation, phlebitis, thrombophlebitis, and occasional skin sloughing at the injection site have occurred with intravenous administration of nafcillin. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) Severe tissue necrosis with sloughing secondary to subcutaneous extravasation of nafcillin has been reported.
Nervous System Reactions
Neurotoxic reactions similar to those observed with penicillin G could occur with large intravenous or intraventricular doses of nafcillin especially in patients with concomitant hepatic insufficiency and renal dysfunction. (See PRECAUTIONS).
Renal tubular damage and interstitial nephritis have been associated infrequently with the administration of nafcillin. Manifestations of this reaction may include rash, fever, eosinophilia, hematuria, proteinuria, and renal insufficiency.
Read the Nafcillin Injection (nafcillin sodium) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Tetracycline, a bacteriostatic antibiotic, may antagonize the bactericidal effect of penicillin, and concurrent use of these drugs should be avoided.
Nafcillin in high dosage regimens, i.e., 2 grams every 4 hours, has been reported to decrease the effects of warfarin. When nafcillin and warfarin are used concomitantly, the prothrombin time should be closely monitored and the dose of warfarin adjusted as necessary. This effect may persist for up to 30 days after nafcillin has been discontinued.
Nafcillin when administered concomitantly with cyclosporine has been reported to result in subtherapeutic cyclosporine levels. The nafcillin-cyclosporine interaction was documented in a patient during two separate courses of therapy. When cyclosporine and nafcillin are used concomitantly in organ transplant patients, the cyclosporine levels should be monitored.
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Nafcillin in the urine can cause a false-positive urine reaction for protein when the sulfosalicyclic acid test is used, but not with the dipstick.
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/18/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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