Flucloxacllin is an antibiotic that is prescribed to treat bacterial infections. It is part of a class of antibiotics called penicillinase-resistant penicillins. It is manufactured by Milpharm Limited.
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What is Flucloxacillin?
Flucloxacillin belongs to a class of drugs called penicillinase-resistant penicillin. They are prescribed to treat various infections, but are primarily used to treat infections related to the skin and soft tissue. Other conditions they’re used in include respiratory, heart and bone infections.
How does Flucloxacillin work?
Flucloxacillin is an antibiotic that treats infections caused by bacteria, and works by interrupting the way in which bacterial cells form and multiply. It attacks the walls of the cells by weakening the bonds that hold the cell together. Once the cell has been compromised in this way, the infection can be overcome.
Flucloxacillin is a penicillinase-resistant penicillin, a class of antibiotics that works differently than most others. Bacteria has become resistant to antibiotics by producing a substance called penicillinase, which attacks the antibiotic itself, rendering it ineffective against the infection. Flucloxacillin, however, is resistant to this, and so is effective in treating penicillin-resistant infections.
Flucloxacillin and infections
Localised skin infections, including carbuncles, boils and abscesses, can sometimes be identified from openings on the skin from which pus usually seeps. They are subcutaneous, which means they are located beneath the skin but are not necessarily related to the soft tissue underneath. They are often painful or tender to the touch, and can range in size from a small pea to a cricket ball.
Boils tend to be small and appear on parts of the body where sweat is more prevalent, such as the armpits. They often have a white tip where pus may seep. Carbuncles are a group of boils that are connected to one single infection. They are essentially a more severe and deeper infection that require medical treatment, and are often accompanied by a fever.
Flucloxacillin treats serious infections such as osteomyelitis (which affects the bone marrow), bacterial meningitis (a very serious condition that causes inflammation in the membranes of the spinal column and brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). It also helps to tackle milder infections, such as a common urinary tract infection.
Serious infections often present with fevers, chills and aching muscles in some conditions, while less severe infections are localised and relatively superficial, such as certain skin infections. In order for a doctor to treat the condition, they will need to assess the infection itself, if it is visible, or order blood tests. For serious conditions, these tests may require hospital admission, depending on how severe the infection is.
Respiratory infections range from simple and mild infections, such as pharyngitis, to very serious conditions like pneumonia. Infections of the respiratory system are common, and can appear in the throat (pharyngitis), tonsils (tonsillitis or quinsy), ears or lungs. Due to the risks involved, and unless the symptoms are particularly mild, you should always report an infection of the respiratory system to your clinician.
If you are feeling unwell due to a suspected infection, you should seek medical assistance immediately. If the infection does not appear serious, you can use our online video consultation service to consult one of our GMC-registered clinicians. They are able to provide advice, issue fit notes, offer access to specialists where required and issue prescriptions for treatment where appropriate.
You should always take Flucloxacillin as directed by your doctor. Failure to do so can result in an increased risk of side effects, and you may not get the full benefits of the treatment.
- Swallow the treatment whole.
- Take it with water.
- Typical dosage for adults will depend on what the medication is being used to treat.
- Do not take twice the amount if you miss a tablet.
- Instead, take the dose that you missed as soon as possible and carry on with your treatment course as normal.
- Space each dosage out evenly over the course of a day.
- If you have taken more than you should, contact a doctor or your nearest hospital immediately.
All medications carry a risk of side effects. While some people will experience no side effects with this treatment, it is important to be aware of the risks involved in the event that you do.
If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, your prescribing doctor should be able to provide any important information.
The following side effects are serious and require immediate medical attention. They may be indicative of an allergic or severe reaction to the treatment: rashes, itching, breathing difficulties, swelling of areas of the face and mouth (allergic reactions) and bloody diarrhoea
Common (can affect up to 1 in 10 users):
Digestive issues (nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea)
Uncommon (can affect up to 1 in 100 users):
Rashes, brown or red spots (purpura), itchy skin (urticaria)
Very rare (can affect up to 1 in 10,000 users):
Different forms of anaemia or blood abnormalities, severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock), yellow eyes and skin (cholestatic jaundice), colonic inflammation (pseudomembranous), severe rashes, severe inflammation and burns of the skin (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), liver problems, fever, joint pain (arthralgia) and muscle pain (myalgia).
A very rare reaction can occur when Flucloxacillin is mixed with paracetamol, causing abnormalities in the blood and bodily fluids. This is caused by a significant increase in the body’s plasma acidity levels. It generally only occurs when other risk factors are present.
In rare cases, a scaly skin rash with bumps and skin blisters (exanthematous pustulosis) can occur. In the unlikely event that this does happen, seek immediate medical assistance.
Conditions to look out for
It’s important that you inform your doctor, or prescribing clinician, of any conditions that you have or have had before taking this medicine. You should make them aware of any conditions that you are prone to, including those you have experienced in the past.
Flucloxacillin should be avoided if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or if you have experienced issues relating to the liver from taking Flucloxacillin previously.
Flucloxacillin may be unsuitable for you and an alternative treatment may need to be prescribed by your clinician in the following circumstances: if you are aged over 50; if you have a serious illnesses that are not related to infections; if you have a liver condition; if one or more of your kidneys is not fully functioning.
Taking it with other medications
You should tell your doctor or prescribing clinician about any medications you are currently taking, including herbal supplements. You should also inform them of any medications you have taken in the past.
The following medications may react with Flucloxacillin, and render it unsuitable for use: paracetamol (particularly if you are already suffering from renal function impairment, malnutrition or sepsis); probenecid (which is prescribed to treat gout); other antibiotics (of any type).
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, you should inform your doctor before starting treatment.
As Flucloxacillin has been found in breast milk, it may not be suitable for use whilst breastfeeding. You should inform your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
Driving and using machinery
Flucloxacillin should not impair your judgement, so it should be perfectly safe to drive or use heavy machinery while taking it.
Food, drink and alcohol
Flucloxacillin should be taken between 30-60 minutes before meals. Capsules contain sodium, so you should be aware of this if you are currently on a low salt diet.
Alcohol does not interact with Flucloxacillin, but should you experience side effects, such as nausea, avoid alcohol during treatment.
There is no evidence that Flucloxacillin affects fertility levels in either men or women.
Do I need further tests while taking Flucloxacillin?
Unless you have a specific condition that requires that blood tests are taken while using this treatment, no further tests are needed. If, however, you need to take Flucloxacillin long-term, you will need to have regular kidney and liver function tests to make sure that the treatment is causing no issues.
Can Flucloxacillin affect test results?
It depends on the test. Urine tests may be affected by Flucloxacillin, so it is important that you inform your doctor if you are using this treatment prior to the test.
How should it be stored?
As with all medications, it should be kept out of reach of children. Flucloxacillin capsules should be stored at a temperature no higher than 25°C. You should refrain from using them beyond the expiry date on the box. Keep Flucloxacillin in its original packaging, to prevent mixing it up with any other medications.
Can I buy Flucloxacillin without a prescription?
No. You will need a prescription from a doctor in order to buy Flucloxacillin online or at a pharmacy.
Is it possible to buy Flucloxacillin online?
Yes. Our online video consultation service allows you to speak to one of our GPhC-registered clinicians, who can assess your symptoms, issue prescriptions, refer you to specialists where required, or issue fit notes. Our clinicians can also issue repeat prescriptions if your existing prescription needs to be renewed.
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