Flucloxacillin is a narrow-spectrum antibiotic forming part of the penicillin class. It is used to treat infections caused by a particular group of (gram-positive) bacteria. Examples include skin infections, such as impetigo, boils, erysipelas, inflamed eczema and inflammation of the outer ear canal.
Flucloxacillin and the benefit of DNA analysis
In some cases there can be mild side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and rashes, when flucloxacillin is taken. Usually, these are not serious and are temporary in nature. However, there is also a very small risk of severe side effects in the form of liver damage. This risk varies from one individual to another. It can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes. Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.
Flucloxacillin and the HLA-B*5701 gene
Your individual risk of side effects in the event of treatment with flucloxacillin may be partly explained by genetic variations. It is known, for example, that mutations in the HLA-B*5701 gene may be partly responsible.
If you are HLA-B*5701 positive, the risk of severe liver damage is increased.
The absolute risk of liver damage remains extremely small: roughly 1 in 500 to 1,000 carriers will actually suffer liver damage.
Information about your genetic predisposition may provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with flucloxacillin.
Read more about HLA-B*5701 »
Also known as
Floxapen, Flopen, Staphylex, Softapen, Flubex, Flupen