Floxapen capsules contain the active ingredient flucloxacillin. (NB. Flucloxacillin is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.) Flucloxacillin belongs to a group of antibiotics called penicillins. It is used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
Flucloxacillin works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to form cell walls. The cell walls of bacteria are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering their cells and stop the contents of their cells from leaking out. Flucloxacillin impairs the bonds that hold the bacterial cell wall together. This allows holes to appear in the cell walls and kills the bacteria.
Flucloxacillin differs from other penicillin-type antibiotics. When bacteria become resistant to penicillin antibiotics it is because they produce an enzyme called penicillinase. This enzyme breaks down the penicillin and makes it ineffective at killing the bacteria. Flucloxacillin is not affected by this enzyme. This means it is used primarily to treat infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to other penicillin-type antibiotics.
The types of infection flucloxacillin is used to treat include: infections affecting the skin and soft tissue (eg boils, cellulitis, impetigo, and infected eczema, ulcers, burns and wounds); bone infections; urinary tract infections; respiratory tract infections (eg pneumonia, sinusitis, lung abcess, pharyngitis, quinsy); meningitis; and blood poisoning (septicaemia). Flucloxacillin is also sometimes used to prevent infections during major surgery, for example bone or heart surgery.
To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to flucloxacillin your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example a swab from the throat or skin, or a urine or blood sample.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Prolonged treatment with antibiotics can sometimes cause overgrowth of other organisms that are not susceptible to the antibiotic, for example fungi or yeasts such as Candida. This may sometimes cause infections such as thrush. Tell your doctor if you think you have developed a new infection during or after taking this antibiotic.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
You should tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, so they can check that the combination is safe.
In the past, women using hormonal contraception such as the pill or patch would be advised to use an extra method of contraception (eg condoms) while taking an antibiotic like this one and for seven days after finishing the course. However, this advice has now changed. You no longer need to use an extra method of contraception with the pill, patch or vaginal ring while you take a course of antibiotics. This change in advice comes because to date there is no evidence to prove that antibiotics (other than rifampicin or rifabutin) affect these contraceptives. This is the latest guidance from the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare.
However, if you are taking the contraceptive pill and experience vomiting or diarrhoea as a result of taking this antibiotic, you should follow the instructions for vomiting and diarrhoea described in the leaflet provided with your pills.
Flucloxacillin may rarely alter the anti-blood-clotting effects of anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin. Your doctor may want to do extra tests of your blood clotting time (INR) while you are taking both medicines.
Flucloxacillin may on rare occasions decrease the removal of the medicine methotrexate from the body, which could increase the risk of its side effects. If you are taking methotrexate, your doctor may want to perform some extra checks while you are taking a course of this antibiotic. You should let your doctor know if you think you have experienced any new or increased side effects after starting this antibiotic.
Oral typhoid vaccine (Vivotif) should not be taken until at least three days after you have finished a course of this antibiotic, because the antibiotic could make this vaccine less effective.
Probenecid may increase the blood level of flucloxacillin, and people taking probenecid may be prescribed a lower dose of flucloxacillin.
Flucloxacillin capsules, syrup and injection are available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.