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Generic Name: piperacillin/tazobactam injection
Product Name: Tazocin

Indication: What Tazocin is used for

Tazocin EF is active against bacteria which cause serious infections such as chest infections, urine infections, stomach infections, skin infections, gynaecological infections, septicaemia (blood poisoning).

It is also used to treat many other infections.

In hospitalised children aged 2 to 12 years, Tazocin EF is used to treat serious infections in the abdomen. Tazocin EF is not recommended to treat abdominal infections in children under 2 years.

This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

Tazocin EF is not addictive.

Action: How Tazocin works

Tazocin EF contains the active ingredients piperacillin and tazobactam. They belong to a group of antibiotics called penicillins that work by killing bacteria.

Piperacillin is an antibiotic that kills many types of bacteria. Tazobactam belongs in the penicillin group but does not have activity against bacteria. It helps piperacillin to overcome bacteria which have become resistant to piperacillin.

Tazocin EF will not work against infections caused by viruses such as colds or flu.

Tazocin EF vials contain piperacillin and tazobactam as the active ingredients and also contain citric acid and disodium edetate (EDTA).

Dose advice: How to use Tazocin

Before you are given Tazocin EF

When you must not receive Tazocin EF

Do not have Tazocin EF if:

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to:
    • Piperacillin, tazobactam, or any other penicillin antibiotics;
    • Any antibiotic in the cephalosporin group;
    • Medicines called beta-lactamase inhibitors.
    • Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or troubled breathing;
  • Tazocin EF should not be given to children under two years of age unless directed by the child’s doctor.

Before you start to receive Tazocin EF

You must tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any foods, dyes, preservatives or any other medicines;
  • You have any other health problems, including kidney or liver disease.
    • The dose of Tazocin EF will be altered, depending on blood tests;
  • You are on a low salt diet;
  • You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
    • Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Tazocin EF if you are pregnant;
  • You are breastfeeding.
    • Tazocin EF passes into breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, you should discuss with your doctor whether to stop breastfeeding while or stop using Tazocin EF.
  • You are being treated with Tazocin EF for gonorrhoea, your doctor should test you for syphilis as well.
    • Tazocin EF in high doses may hide early symptoms of syphilis without curing it long-term.

If you are not sure whether you should be taking Tazocin EF, talk to your doctor.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

There may be interference between Tazocin EF and some other medicines, including:

  • Medicines for gout (probenicid);
  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics, including tobramycin;
  • Vancomycin, an antibiotic;
  • Preparations used for thinning blood (warfarin, heparin);
  • Methotrexate, used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions;
  • Vecuronium, a muscle relaxant used in surgery.

These medicines may be affected by Tazocin EF or may affect how well it works. You may need to be given different amounts of your medicine or you may need to be given different medicines.

If you have not told your doctor or pharmacist about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Tazocin EF.

How Tazocin EF will be given to you

How much you will be given

The dosage of Tazocin EF is generally 4.5g every eight hours. The dose may vary between 2.25g and 4.5 g and may also be given every six hours. For children aged 2 to 12 years, weighing up to 40 kg, and with normal kidney function, the recommended dosage is 112.5 mg/kg (100 mg piperacillin/12.5 mg tazobactam) every 8 hours. For children aged 2 to 12 years, weighing over 40 kg, and with normal kidney function, the recommended dose is 4.5 g (4 g piperacillin/0.5 g tazobactam) every 8 hours.

Your doctor may change these dosages.

If you have kidney disease your doctor will adjust the dose to suit you.

How Tazocin EF will be given

A doctor or nurse in hospital will always give Tazocin EF to you. It will usually be given to you as a slow injection into a vein over 20-30 minutes.

How long you will receive Tazocin EF

The length of time you will be given Tazocin EF depends on the type and severity of your infection. It should be given for at least five days, and for 48 hours after all signs of illness and fever have gone.


It is unlikely that you will ever receive an overdose of Tazocin EF because it will be given by a trained nurse or doctor.

While you are receiving Tazocin EF

If you receive Tazocin EF for a prolonged time, your doctor may wish to do some blood tests.

Sometimes blood disorders can occur if you take Tazocin EF.

If a doctor asks you for a urine sample, tell him/her that you are receiving Tazocin EF.

Antibiotics in the penicillin family, including Tazocin EF, can cause interference in some tests for glucose in urine. Penicillins that are excreted in urine can cause a false-positive result. The doctor will request a test, which is not affected by penicillins.

Things you must do

If you develop severe diarrhoea, tell your doctor immediately. Do this even if it occurs several weeks after stopping Tazocin EF.

This may be a sign of a serious side effect that affects the bowel. You may need urgent medical care. Do not take any medicines to treat this diarrhoea without checking with your doctor.

After using Tazocin EF


It is unlikely that you will be asked to store this medication. If you are:

  • Keep this medicine where young children cannot reach it.
    • A locked cupboard at least 1 and a half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines;
  • Keep Tazocin EF in a cool, dry place where it stays below 30°C. Do not store it, or any other medicine, in a bathroom or near a sink;
  • Do not leave it in the car or on window sills.
    • Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.


If your doctor tells you to stop taking Tazocin EF, or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any left over.

Schedule of Tazocin

Tazocin is an S4 (Prescription Medicine).

Side effects of Tazocin

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Tazocin EF.

Tazocin EF is effective in most people, but may have unwanted side effects in some. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

The more common side effects are:

  • Nausea or indigestion;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhoea or constipation;
  • Rash, itchy or red skin;
  • Allergic reactions such as hives;
  • A new infection caused by bacteria that are resistant to Tazocin EF (superinfection);
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness.

Rare side effects are:

  • Increased sweating;
  • Eczema;
  • Flaking or peeling of the skin;
  • Inflammation of the mouth;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Weakness and tiredness;
  • Hallucinations;
  • Muscle or joint pain or prolonged muscle relaxation;
  • Fever;
  • Hot flushes;
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles;
  • Swelling or redness along a vein which is extremely tender when touched.
  • Changes in liver function including jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes) or hepatitis;
  • Severe diarrhoea caused by a certain superinfection in the gut;
  • Convulsions (‘fits’) if Tazocin EF is given in high doses;
  • Short-term changes in kidney function;
  • Cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath and chest pain;
  • Thrush, especially with prolonged treatment.

Less often, serious effects have occurred in people taking Tazocin EF.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Tiredness, being short of breath and looking pale;
  • Frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers;
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, nose bleeds;
  • Moderate or severe skin rash or blisters often with flu-like symptoms.

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.

Tell your doctor if you notice anything on this list or anything else that is making you feel unwell.

Importantly, tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhoea in the next few weeks after Tazocin EF treatment.

Do not try to treat it yourself with medicines that you can buy without a prescription.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand anything in this list.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.

You may not experience any of them.

For further information talk to your doctor.


  1. Tazocin Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). West Ryde, NSW: Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd.  October 2016. [PDF]
  2. Tazocin Product Information (PI). West Ryde, NSW: Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd. October 2016. [PDF]

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 18 August, 2018
Reviewed On: 1 October, 2017


Created by: myVMC