Ceftazidime Side Effects

Not all side effects for ceftazidime may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to ceftazidime: injection powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by ceftazidime. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking ceftazidime, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
  • bloating
  • bluish color
  • changes in skin color
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • fever
  • increased thirst
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pain
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • swelling at the site of injection
  • swelling of the foot or leg
  • tenderness
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight loss
  • white patches in the mouth or throat or on the tongue
  • white patches with diaper rash
  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • bleeding gums
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chills
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • difficulty with breathing
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • general body swelling
  • headache
  • hives
  • itching
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • nosebleeds
  • pale skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin
Incidence not known
  • Agitation
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • change in consciousness
  • chest pain
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • coughing up blood
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or painful urination
  • drowsiness
  • hallucinations
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • loss of consciousness
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle twitching or jerking
  • nosebleeds
  • paralysis
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • red or black, tarry stools
  • red or dark brown urine
  • rhythmic movement of the muscles
  • seizures
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stiff neck
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
  • swollen or painful glands
  • troubled breathing
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • vomiting of blood
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • weight gain

Some of the side effects that can occur with ceftazidime may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Red streaks on the skin
  • swelling, tenderness, or pain at the injection site

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ceftazidime: injectable powder for injection, intravenous solution


Discontinuation of ceftazidime may be necessary in severe, prolonged cases of diarrhea. Pseudomembranous colitis has been reported and should be considered if the patient does not respond to discontinuation of ceftazidime.

Gastrointestinal side effects reported in less than 2% of patients have included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and pseudomembranous colitis. Oral candidiasis has been reported in less than 1% of patients. Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea has also been reported.


Mild hypersensitivity reactions, such as rash, pruritus, and fever, have been reported and may necessitate discontinuation of ceftazidime. A case of asthma induced by occupational exposure to ceftazidime has been reported.

A case of occupational contact dermatitis due to cephalosporin allergy has been reported in a nurse who prepared cephalosporin solutions for administration to patients. The dermatitis resolved after the nurse stopped preparing the solutions.

A patient with sensitization to aztreonam showed cross-reactivity to ceftazidime. Ceftazidime and aztreonam contain the same side chain, which may explain the cross-sensitivity.

Hypersensitivity reactions including rash, pruritus, and fever have been reported (2%). Cross reactions may occur in penicillin-allergic or aztreonam-allergic patients. Rarely, angioedema and anaphylactic reactions have occurred. Allergic reactions including cardiopulmonary arrest have been reported during postmarketing experience. Cephalosporin class antibiotics have been associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, and toxic epidermal necrolysis.


Although increases in serum creatinine do not necessarily indicate renal toxicity, urinary alanine aminopeptidase (AAP) has been found to be significantly increased in some patients and may indicate renal tubular cell damage.

Renal side effects have included transient increases in serum creatinine and BUN. Renal impairment has been reported during postmarketing experience. Cephalosporins as a class have been associated with renal dysfunction and toxic nephropathy.

Nervous system

Ceftazidime-induced encephalopathy has been reported in an 80-year-old man with underlying renal dysfunction. This patient became incoherent and tremulous and had severe myoclonic jerking in all extremities. Therapy was discontinued and symptoms abated, but reappeared on rechallenge with a smaller dose. Symptoms again resolved with discontinuation of ceftazidime therapy. Several other cases of ceftazidime-induced encephalopathy, and hallucinations have been reported. In most cases the patients had underlying renal dysfunction. Symptoms were similar and resolved with dose reduction or drug discontinuation.

Neurologic reactions may be more likely to occur in patients with underlying renal dysfunction. Close monitoring of neurologic status is recommended.

Nervous system side effects reported in less than 1% of patients have included headache, dizziness, paresthesia, and seizures. Encephalopathy, coma, asterixis, neuromuscular excitability, and myoclonia have occurred in patients with renal dysfunction who received unadjusted doses of ceftazidime.


Dermatologic side effects have included pemphigus erythematosus and urticaria.


Local side effects have included phlebitis and inflammation at the injection site.


Other transient hematologic effects, such as thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, and leukopenia, have been observed less frequently.

Hematologic side effects have included transient eosinophilia, positive Coombs test without hemolysis, thrombocytosis, leukopenia, neutropenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and lymphocytosis. Cephalosporins as a class have been associated with aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, prolonged prothrombin time, hemorrhage, neutropenia, pancytopenia, and agranulocytosis.


Hepatic side effects have included transient increases in AST, ALT, GGT, and alkaline phosphatase. These elevations generally resolve after discontinuation of therapy. Hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice have been reported during postmarketing experience. Cephalosporins as a class have been associated with hepatic dysfunction, including cholestasis.


Genitourinary side effects have included vaginitis and candidiasis. Cephalosporins as a class have been associated with false-positive tests for urine glucose.


Other side effects have included superinfection.

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