Dicloxacillin Sodium (Page 2 of 3)

Information for the Patient

Patients should be counselled that antibacterial drugs including dicloxacillin sodium capsules should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When dicloxacillin sodium capsules are prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by dicloxacillin sodium capsules or other antibacterial drugs in the future.

Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.

Patients receiving penicillins should be given the following information and instructions by the physician:

  1. Patients should be told that penicillin is an antibacterial agent which will work with the body’s natural defenses to control certain types of infections. They should be told that the drug should not be taken if they have had an allergic reaction to any form of penicillin previously, and to inform the physician of any allergies or previous allergic reactions to any drugs they may have had (see WARNINGS).
  2. Patients who have previously experienced an anaphylactic reaction to penicillin should be instructed to wear a medical identification tag or bracelet.
  3. Because most antibacterial drugs taken by mouth are best absorbed on an empty stomach, patients should be directed, unless circumstances warrant otherwise, to take penicillin one hour before meals or two hours after eating (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGYPharmacokinetics).
  4. Patients should be told to take the entire course of therapy prescribed, even if fever and other symptoms have stopped (see PRECAUTIONSGeneral).
  5. If any of the following reactions occur, stop taking your prescription and notify the physician: shortness of breath, wheezing, skin rash, mouth irritation, black tongue, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, swollen joints or any unusual bleeding or bruising (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
  6. Do not take any additional medications without physician approval, including nonprescription drugs such as antacids, laxatives or vitamins.

Laboratory Tests

Bacteriologic studies to determine the causative organisms and their susceptibility to the penicillinase-resistant penicillins should be performed (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY — Microbiology). In the treatment of suspected staphylococcal infections, therapy should be changed to another active agent if culture tests fail to demonstrate the presence of staphylococci.

Periodic assessment of organ system function, including renal, hepatic and hematopoietic, should be made during prolonged therapy with the penicillinase-resistant penicillins.

Blood cultures, white blood cell and differential cell counts should be obtained prior to initiation of therapy and at least weekly during therapy with penicillinase-resistant penicillins.

Periodic urinalysis, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine determinations should be performed during therapy with the penicillinase-resistant penicillins and dosage alterations should be considered if these values become elevated. If any impairment of renal function is suspected or known to exist, a reduction in the total dosage should be considered and blood levels monitored to avoid possible neurotoxic reactions (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) values should be obtained periodically during therapy to monitor for possible liver function abnormalities.

Drug Interactions

Tetracycline, a bacteriostatic antibiotic, may antagonize the bactericidal effect of penicillin and concurrent use of these drugs should be avoided.

Probenecid administered concomitantly with penicillins increases and prolongs serum penicillin levels (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Penicillinase-resistant penicillins, like other penicillins, are physically and/or chemically incompatible with aminoglycosides and can inactivate the drugs in vitro. In vitro mixing of penicillins and aminoglycosides should be avoided during concomitant therapy and the drugs should be administered separately. Penicillins can inactivate aminoglycosides in vitro in serum samples from patients receiving both drugs, which could produce falsely decreased results in serum aminoglycoside assays of the serum samples.

Dicloxacillin may reduce the anticoagulant response to dicumarol and warfarin. Careful monitoring of prothrombin times is suggested during concomitant therapy, and dosage of the anticoagulant should be adjusted as required. The mechanism of this possible interaction is unclear, but may be due to hepatic enzyme induction.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No long-term animal studies have been conducted with these drugs.

Studies on reproduction (nafcillin) in rats and rabbits reveal no fetal or maternal abnormalities before conception and continuously through weaning (one generation).

Pregnancy

Reproduction studies performed in the mouse, rat and rabbit have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to the penicillinase-resistant penicillins. Human experience with the penicillins during pregnancy has not shown any positive evidence of adverse effects on the fetus. There are, however, no adequate or well-controlled studies in pregnant women showing conclusively that harmful effects of these drugs on the fetus can be excluded. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers

Penicillins are excreted in breast milk. Caution should be exercised when penicillins are administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Because of incompletely developed renal function in newborns, penicillinase-resistant penicillins (especially methicillin) may not be completely excreted, with abnormally high blood levels resulting. Frequent monitoring of blood levels is advisable in this group, with dosage adjustments when necessary. All newborns treated with penicillins should be monitored closely for clinical and laboratory evidence of toxic or adverse effects (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Experience in the neonatal period is limited. Therefore a dose for the newborn is not recommended.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of dicloxacillin sodium capsules did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Postmarketing Experience

Rare reports have been received during postmarketing surveillance of esophageal burning, esophagitis, and esophageal ulceration, particularly after ingestion of dicloxacillin capsules with an insufficient quantity of water and/or before going to bed. To minimize the risk of developing such events, dicloxacillin should be taken with at least 4 fluid ounces (120 mL) of water and dicloxacillin should NOT be taken in the supine position or immediately before going to bed.

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