1st Generation Cephalosporins



First generation cephalosporins are beta lactam antibiotics.  There are two drug names of the first-generation cephalosporins that are important to remember: cefaZOLin and cephaLEXin. These antibiotics are active against gram-positive cocci like staph and strep bacteria. Because gram-positive cocci most commonly make up the skin flora, first generation cephalosporins are most often used for preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis, to prevent wound infections caused by skin bacteria.

Key Points

  • 1st Generation Cephalosporins
    • Drug Names
      • cefaZOLIN
      • cephaLEXIN
    • Mechanism
      • Same as other Cephalosporins (see: Cephalosporin Overview)
    • Clinical Use
      • Gram-positive cocci (e.g. Staph. spp., Strep spp.)
        • Used preoperatively to prevent wound infections by skin flora (e.g. S. aureus)
      • Proteus mirabilis
      • E. Coli
      • Klebsiella pneumoniae
    • Adverse Effects
      • Same as other Cephalosporins (see: Cephalosporin Overview)