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Cephalothin

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Overview

  • Cephalothin is an antibiotic of the cephalosporin class. It is related to the penicillin drugs in how it kills bacteria, but cephalosporins have a much broader range of activity against bacteria than penicillins. Other related drugs include cephalexin and cefadroxil.
  • Cephalothin will prevent the bacteria from forming an adequate and protective cell wall. This results in instability and subsequent death of the bacteria.
  • Cephalothin is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only. It is currently off the market and not available.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Cephalothin

  • Cephalothin is used in both dogs and cats to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including skin infections, wound infections, bone infections, pneumonia, and bladder infections.
  • Cephalothin is not effective against infections caused by parasites (intestinal worms), mites, viruses, or fungi.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, cephalothin can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Cephalothin should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • If a pet is allergic to or vomiting from other cephalosporin drugs (cefadroxil) or penicillins (amoxicillin, ampicillin), cross-reaction with cephalothin is possible.
  • Cephalothin may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with cephalothin. Such drugs include certain other antibiotics.
  • The most common side effect in animals is vomiting shortly after administration. It is usually not a sign of serious disease, but indicates that the pet is sensitive to this drug.
  • It is not unusual for some animals to develop diarrhea from orally administered antibiotics such as cephalexin. However, this has not been a common complaint with cephalexin.

    How Cephalothin Is Supplied

  • Cephalothin is available in a 1 gram and 2 gram concentrations in 10 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml vials.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The usual dose is 5 to 15 mg per pound (10 to 30 mg/kg) every 6 to 8 hours subcutaneously, intramuscularly or intravenously for dogs and cats.
  • After receiving cephalothin, many pets are sent home with a prescription of an oral cephalosporin, similar to cephalothin.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.




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