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Generic Name: cefotetan (SEF-oh-TEE-tan)
Brand Name: Cefotan

Cefotetan is used for:

Treating bacterial infections or preventing bacterial infections after certain surgeries.

Cefotetan is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.

Do NOT use cefotetan if:

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

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

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Before using cefotetan:

Some medical conditions may interact with cefotetan. 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 beta-lactam antibiotic (eg, imipenem)
  • if you have stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammation), blood clotting problems, active bleeding, kidney or liver problems, or poor nutrition

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

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or heparin because the risk of side effects, including bleeding, may be increased by cefotetan
  • Probenecid because its actions and the risk of its side effects may be increased by cefotetan
  • Aminoglycosides (eg, gentamicin) because the risk of kidney problems may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cefotetan 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 cefotetan:

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

  • Cefotetan is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • Do not use cefotetan if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use cefotetan 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 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 cefotetan, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and 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 cefotetan.

Important safety information:

  • Cefotetan only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use cefotetan 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 cefotetan 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.
  • 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.
  • Avoid alcohol while you are using cefotetan and for several days after you have stopped using cefotetan.
  • Cefotetan may decrease the ability of your blood to clot. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Diabetes patients - Cefotetan 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.
  • Cefotetan may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using cefotetan.
  • Lab tests, including kidney or liver tests or blood cell counts, may be performed while you use cefotetan. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use cefotetan with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Cefotetan should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Use cefotetan with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years old who have diarrhea or an infection of the stomach or bowel.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using cefotetan while you are pregnant. Cefotetan is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use cefotetan, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of cefotetan:

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; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach cramps; vomiting.

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); bloody stools; decreased urination; fever; hoarseness; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; red, swollen, or blistered skin; seizures; severe diarrhea; severe nausea or vomiting; severe stomach pain/cramps; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness; vaginal irritation or discharge; white spots in the mouth; yellowing of the eyes and skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

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. Symptoms may include muscle spasms; seizures.

Proper storage of cefotetan:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cefotetan, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cefotetan 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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about cefotetan. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015
Database Edition
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.