Cephalothin: Uses, Precautions, Side Effects, Contraindications and Interactions

It is an antibiotic used to treat and prevent various bacterial infections.

Cefalotin is a first-generation beta-lactam semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic with bactericidal activity.

Inactivates penicillin-binding proteins located in the inner membrane of the bacterial cell wall. Penicillin-binding proteins participate in the terminal stages of the bacterial cell wall assembly and the restructuring of the cell wall during cell division.

The inactivation of penicillin-binding proteins interferes with the cross-linking of the peptidoglycan chains necessary for the resistance and rigidity of the bacterial cell wall. This results in weakening the bacterial cell wall and causes cell lysis.


Cefalotin is indicated in joint and bone infections because of:

  • Streptococci cause respiratory tract infections. 
  • Meningitis.
  • Staphylococcus
  • Infections of the skin and soft tissues.
  • Gastrointestinal infections, particularly those caused by  Salmonella and  Shigella.

Likewise, cephalothin has been used in prophylaxis for orthopedic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, gynecological, thoracic, and vascular interventions and urinary tract infections.


Depending on your specific product, this medicine is given by injection into a vein or a muscle as directed by your doctor. The indicated dose is based on the medical condition and the response to treatment.



It may be necessary to adjust the dose in patients with renal impairment.

Your doctor may order the suspension of treatment with cephalothin if there are changes in the frequency of bowel movements. Cefalotin will likely trigger infections caused by non-sensitive organisms, given the risk of inducing pseudomembranous colitis.

No studies show that Cefalotine has teratogenic effects or causes adverse effects during pregnancy. However, Cefalotin should not be administered in pregnant women or with suspected pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risks, as there are not enough studies available.

Side effects

Some side effects include:

  • Pain at the site of the injection.
  • Fever.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain.

In patients with a history of allergy to penicillin, there is a possibility of cross-reactions.

Likewise, effects related to secondary hematological reactions related to the cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal g related to the kidney and genitourinary system have been reported.

Likewise, some patients treated with this drug have reported agranulocytosis, granulocytopenia, and hemolytic anemia.


This medication is contraindicated in patients with a history or history of allergic reactions to penicillins, cephalothin, or other cephalosporins. 

Your doctor may discontinue treatment with cellophane if changes in bowel movements are observed since cephalothin is likely to trigger infections by non-sensitive organisms and carries the risk of inducing colitis.


The effects of aminoglycosides can be exacerbated by treatment with cellophane. 

Probenecid decreases the elimination of cellophane; for this reason, the half-life can be extended.

Cephalothin may trigger or aggravate renal failure when combined with other nephrotoxic agents.