Skip to Content

Cefotaxime

Pronunciation

Generic Name: cefotaxime (SEF-oh-TAX-eem)
Brand Name: Claforan

Cefotaxime is used for:

Treating infections caused by certain bacteria. It is also used to prevent bacterial infections before, during, or after certain surgeries.

Cefotaxime is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by weakening and rupturing the cell wall, killing the bacteria.

Do NOT use cefotaxime if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in cefotaxime or to any other cephalosporin antibiotic (eg, cephalexin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: When Harmless Bacteria Turn Bad: Group B Strep

Before using cefotaxime:

Some medical conditions may interact with cefotaxime. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to a penicillin (eg, amoxicillin) or other beta-lactam antibiotic (eg, imipenem)
  • if you have a history of stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammation), blood clotting problems, or liver problems
  • if you have kidney problems or poor nutrition

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with cefotaxime. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aminoglycosides (eg, gentamicin), furosemide, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen), or other medicines that may harm the kidney (eg, amphotericin B, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, vancomycin) because the risk of kidney side effects may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the kidney.
  • Probenecid because it may increase the risk of cefotaxime's side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cefotaxime may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use cefotaxime:

Use cefotaxime as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cefotaxime is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using cefotaxime at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use cefotaxime. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use cefotaxime if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use cefotaxime for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of cefotaxime, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use cefotaxime.

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take cefotaxime before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Cefotaxime only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use cefotaxime for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of cefotaxime may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • If given into a vein, cefotaxime may cause tissue damage if it leaks from the vein. Tell your health care provider if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the medicine is going into your body.
  • Diabetes patients - Cefotaxime may cause the results of some tests for urine glucose to be wrong. Ask your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Cefotaxime may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using cefotaxime.
  • Lab tests may be performed while you use cefotaxime. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use cefotaxime with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using cefotaxime while you are pregnant. Cefotaxime is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use cefotaxime, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of cefotaxime:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; seizures; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, right-sided stomach pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of cefotaxime:

Cefotaxime is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using cefotaxime at home, store cefotaxime as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep cefotaxime out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cefotaxime, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cefotaxime is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take cefotaxime or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about cefotaxime. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to cefotaxime. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using cefotaxime.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015
Database Edition 15.2.1.003
Copyright © 2015 Clinical Drug Information, LLC

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide