CEFAZOLIN- cefazolin sodium injection, powder, for solution

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Cefazolin for injection and other antibacterial drugs, Cefazolin for injection should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.


Cefazolin for injection is a semi-synthetic cephalosporin for parenteral administration. It is the sodium salt of 3-{[(5-methyl-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)thio]-methyl}-8-oxo-7-[2-(1H-tetrazol-1-yl) acetamido]-5-thia-1-azabicyclo [4.2.0]oct-2-ene-2-carboxylic acid.

Structural Formula:

Image from Drug Label Content

Each vial contains 48 mg (2 mEq) of sodium/1 gram of cefazolin sodium. Cefazolin for injection, USP is white to off-white crystalline powder.

Cefazolin for injection, USP is supplied in 1 gram piggyback bottles. Each piggyback bottle contains, cefazolin sodium equivalent to 1 gram of cefazolin.


Studies have shown that following intravenous administration of Cefazolin for injection to normal volunteers, mean serum concentrations peaked at approximately 185 mcg/mL and were approximately 4 mcg/mL at 8 hours for a 1 gram dose.

The serum half-life for Cefazolin for injection is approximately 1.8 hours following IV administration.

In a study (using normal volunteers) of constant intravenous infusion with dosages of 3.5 mg/kg for 1 hour (approximately 250 mg) and 1.5 mg/kg the next 2 hours (approximately 100 mg), Cefazolin for injection produced a steady serum level at the third hour of approximately 28 mcg/mL.

Studies in patients hospitalized with infections indicate that Cefazolin for injection produces mean peak serum levels approximately equivalent to those seen in normal volunteers.

Bile levels in patients without obstructive biliary disease can reach or exceed serum levels by up to 5 times; however, in patients with obstructive biliary disease, bile levels of Cefazolin for injection are considerably lower than serum levels (< 1 mcg/mL).

In synovial fluid, the level of Cefazolin for injection becomes comparable to that reached in serum at about 4 hours after drug administration.

Studies of cord blood show prompt transfer of Cefazolin for injection across the placenta. Cefazolin for injection is present in very low concentrations in the milk of nursing mothers.

Cefazolin for injection is excreted unchanged in the urine. In the first 6 hours approximately 60% of the drug is excreted in the urine and this increases to 70% to 80% within 24 hours.

In patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (2 L/hr.), Cefazolin for injection produced mean serum levels of approximately 10 and 30 mcg/mL after 24 hours’ instillation of a dialyzing solution containing 50 mg/L and 150 mg/L, respectively. Mean peak levels were 29 mcg/mL (range 13 to 44 mcg/mL) with 50 mg/L (3 patients), and 72 mcg/mL (range 26 to 142 mcg/mL) with 150 mg/L (6 patients). Intraperitoneal administration of Cefazolin for injectionis usually well tolerated.

Controlled studies on adult normal volunteers, receiving 1 gram 4 times a day for 10 days, monitoring CBC, SGOT, SGPT, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, BUN, creatinine and urinalysis, indicated no clinically significant changes attributed to Cefazolin for injection.


In vitro tests demonstrate that the bactericidal action of cephalosporins results from inhibition of cell wall synthesis. Cefazolin has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section:

Aerobic Gram-positive microorganisms

Staphylococcus aureus (including penicillinase-producing strains)

Staphylococcus epidermidis

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes and other strains of Streptococci

NOTE: Methicillin-resistant staphylococci are uniformly resistant to cefazolin. Many Enterococcus strains are resistant to cefazolin.

Aerobic Gram-negative microorganisms

Escherichia coli

Haemophilus influenzae

Klebsiella species

Proteus mirabilis

NOTE: Most strains of indole positive Proteus (Proteus vulgaris), Enterobacter cloacae, Morganella morganii and Providencia rettgeri are resistant. Serratia, Pseudomonas, Mima and Herellea species are almost uniformly resistant to cefazolin.

Susceptibility Testing

Dilution Techniques

Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized procedure. Standardized procedures are based on a dilution method 1 (broth) or equivalent with standardized inoculum concentrations and standardized concentrations of cefazolin powder. The MIC values should be interpreted according to the following criteria:

For Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus spp.

MIC (mcg/mL) Interpretation
< 8 Susceptible (S)
16 Intermediate (I)
> 32 Resistant (R)

A report of “Susceptible” indicates that the pathogen is likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable. A report of “Intermediate” indicates that the result should be considered equivocal, and, if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where high dosage of drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone which prevents small uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of “Resistant” indicates that the pathogen is not likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable; other therapy should be selected.

Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory control microorganisms to control the technical aspects of the laboratory procedures. Standard cefazolin powder should provide the following MIC values:

Microorganism MIC (mcg/mL)
S. aureus ATCC 29213 0.25 to 1
E. coli ATCC 25922 1 to 4

National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, Method for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria that Grow Aerobically – Fifth Edition. Approved Standard NCCLS Document M7-A4, Vol. 20, No.2, NCCLS, Wayne, PA, January 2000.

Diffusion Techniques

Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. One such standardized procedure 2 requires the use of standardized inoculum concentrations. This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 30 mcg cefazolin to test the susceptibility of microorganisms to cefazolin.

Reports from the laboratory providing results of the standard single-disk susceptibility test with a 30 mcg cefazolin disk should be interpreted according to the following criteria:

For Enterobacteriaceae using the 30 mcg cefazolin disk

Zone diameter (mm) Interpretation
> 18 Susceptible (S)
15 to 17 Intermediate (I)
< 14 Resistant (R)

For Staphylococcus spp, using the 30 mcg cefazolin or the 30 mcg cephalothin disks

Zone diameter (mm) Interpretation
> 18 Susceptible (S)
15 to 17 Intermediate (I)
< 14 Resistant (R)

Interpretation should be as stated above for results using dilution techniques.

Interpretation involves correlation of the diameter obtained in the disk test with the MIC for cefazolin.

As with standardized dilution techniques, diffusion methods require the use of laboratory control microorganisms that are used to control the technical aspects of the laboratory procedures. For the diffusion technique, the 30 mcg cefazolin disk should provide the following zone diameter in this laboratory test quality control strain:

Microorganism Zone diameter (mm)
S. aureus ATCC 25923 29 to 35
E. coli ATCC 25922 23 to 29
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