Cephalothin is an antibiotic with a broad-spectrum action that is used to treat serious infections caused by germs susceptible to Cephalothin. Some of these diseases include: respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, peritonitis, genitourinary tract infections, septicemia (including endocarditis), gastrointestinal infections, infections of bones and joints.


It can also be used in the perioperative prevention in surgical infections and in contaminated or potentially contaminated wounds and in open-heart surgery or arthroplasty with prostheses interventions.


Cephalothin is also resistant to staphylococcal penicillinase and it can therefore be used against strains of penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus microorganisms. Thanks to this characteristic, it is considered the drug of choice in the treatment of serious staphylococcal infections such as endocarditis.


What is Cephalothin?


Cephalothin is an antibiotic, more precisely a first-generation cephalosporin, which acts in a similar manner to penicillin. Like other cephalosporins, Cephalothin inhibits bacterial growth by interfering with bacterial cell wall synthesis. As penicillin, cephalosporins bind to the transpeptidase enzymes that are used to create links between the chains of peptidoglycan (the polymer essential for the formation of the bacterial wall): inhibition of the transpeptidase activity affects the stability of the bacterial cell wall, resulting in the death of growing bacterial cells.


How should Cephalothin be taken?


It is available in the form of an injectable liquid and it is usually administered intravenously due to the painfulness of intramuscular injections.


Side effects associated with Cephalothin


The recognized adverse effects due to the assumption of this drug may vary. There are reports of neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and hemolytic anemia. In subjects with impaired renal function there have been recorded transient increases of SGOT (one of the indicators of liver function), alkaline phosphatase , BUN and reduction in creatinine levels. In patients with a history of hypersensitivity to cephalosporins and/or penicillins there were highlighted cases of maculopapular rash, urticaria , anaphylaxis, eosinophilia and drug fever.


Moreover, a large dose of Cephalothin may be associated with thrombophlebitis. In rare cases, the drug may cause nausea and vomiting.


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Cephalothin


Cephalothin is contraindicated in individuals with hypersensitivity to the constituents or other strictly correlated chemical substances, especially penicillins, cephalosporins, and beta-lactam antibiotics.


Cephalothin is generally contraindicated during pregnancy and early childhood: in these cases, the drug should be administered only in cases of real need and under strict medical supervision.


There has not been reported any effect of Cephalothin on the possible reduction of capacity in terms of the ability to drive and operate heavy machinery.

However, special attention should be paid at the administration of the drug in patients who are already following a therapy with potentially nephrotoxic active ingredients, due to the possibility of enhancing the kidney damage induced by cephalosporins.