Staphylococcus epidermidis is frequently associated with infection of prosthetic heart valves, prosthetic orthopedic devices, and neurosurgical shunts. Penicillinase-resistant semisynthetic penicillins, such as methicillin, have been the therapeutic and prophylactic agents of choice for S epidermidis infection. However, more S epidermidis isolates are now resistant to methicillin and other penicillins. In our laboratory 41% of S epidermidis isolates were resistant to methicillin. All of the methicillin-susceptible isolates and 82% of the methicillin-resistant isolates were susceptible to cephalothin. Cephalothin should replace methicillin as the prophylactic and therapeutic agent of choice in institutions with a high percentage of methicillin-resistant S epidermidis.