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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Cefazolin Dose?

By B. Chisholm
Updated May 17, 2024
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A number of factors affect a sufficient cefazolin dose, mainly what it is being used for and the severity of the condition. Cefazolin is an injectable antibiotic drug used to treat susceptible bacterial infections and in surgical prophylaxis. In most countries it is available by prescription only and the cefazolin dose needs to be given by a trained health care professional because it is injectable. It may be known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer.

Cefazolin is a first-generation cephalosporin which is active against many Gram-positive organisms, but resistance has been found in some Gram-negative species. It works by inhibiting the cell wall synthesis of susceptible bacterial organisms and may be used to treat infections of the urinary tract, respiratory tract and heart, amongst others. The treating doctor may send a sample, such as urine, blood, or tissue to the pathology laboratory to establish susceptibility to cefazolin of the organism causing the infection.

When deciding on the cefazolin dose used to treat an infection, the prescribing doctor will take into consideration where the infection is and the severity thereof. Doses may range from 500 mg to 1.5 g and may be given twice, three times or four times a day for up to 10 or more days. Regardless of the cefazolin dose prescribed, it is essential that the full course is completed, in order to prevent the development of resistant organisms which may make treatment of future bacterial infections difficult.

The pediatric cefazolin dose is usually established by weight and may range from 25 to 50 mg per kilogram, in some severe cases going up to 100 mg per kilogram, divided into three or four doses daily. Again, the severity of the infection being treated will determine the sufficient dose and duration of treatment. In both adults and children with renal dysfunction, the cefazolin dose may need to be adjusted.

Cefazolin may be used perioperatively for surgical prophylaxis, or the prevention of infection during surgery. The usual cefazolin dose in this scenario for adults is 1 g given half an hour to an hour before the surgery. If the operation is a long one, additional smaller doses may be given during the procedure to ensure adequate antimicrobial levels throughout. It is usually continued for a day after the surgery but in cases where infection is a significant risk, the course may be extended to a number of days.

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