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Dicloxacillin

(dye klox a sill' in)

Brand Name(s): Dycill, Dynapen, Pathocil; also available generically

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Dicloxacillin is used to treat infections caused by certain types of bacteria. Dicloxacillin is in a class of medications called penicillins. It works by killing bacteria.

Antibiotics such as dicloxacillin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Dicloxacillin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 6 hours (four times a day). Dicloxacillin should be taken on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal or snack, The length of your treatment depends on the type of infection that you have. Take dicloxacillin at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dicloxacillin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Take dicloxacillin while you are sitting or standing up with at least 4 ounces (120 mL) of water. Do not lay down or go to sleep immediately after taking dicloxacillin.

Take dicloxacillin until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking dicloxacillin without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking dicloxacillin too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking dicloxacillin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dicloxacillin, other penicillin antibiotics, cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefepime (Maxipime), cefixime (Suprax), cefotaxime (Claforan), cefotetan, cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime, cefprozil, ceftaroline (Teflaro), ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef, in Avycaz), ceftibuten, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime (Ceftin, Zinacef), and cephalexin (Keflex); any other medications, or any of the ingredients in dicloxacillin capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following; probenecid (Probalan, in Col-probenecid); tetracycline antibiotics such as demeclocycline, doxycycline (Doxy, Oracea, Vibramycin, others), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, others), tetracycline (Achromycin V, in Pylera), and tigecycline (Tygacil); and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had allergies, asthma, or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking dicloxacillin, call your doctor.

What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Dicloxacillin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • black, hairy tongue
  • mouth irritation
  • swollen joints

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • itching
  • hives
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • wheezing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • joint or muscle pain
  • abdominal pain
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
  • severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)

Dicloxacillin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the capsules at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to dicloxacillin.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the dicloxacillin, call your doctor.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.


This report on medications is for your information only, and is not considered individual patient advice. Because of the changing nature of drug information, please consult your physician or pharmacist about specific clinical use.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® represents that the information provided hereunder was formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information and specifically disclaims all such warranties. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate health care professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses and side effects. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists® does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. The information is not a substitute for medical care.

Pronunciation Guide for Drug Names is used with permission. © 2009. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. All Rights Reserved.

AHFS® Patient Medication Information™. © Copyright, 2020. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists®, 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Selected Revisions: May 15, 2018.