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Ceftin

Generic Name: cefuroxime (SEF ue ROX eem)
Brand Names: Ceftin

Medically reviewed on May 28, 2018

What is Ceftin?

Ceftin (cefuroxime) is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body.

Ceftin is used to treat many kinds of bacterial infections, including severe or life-threatening forms.

Ceftin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Ceftin if you are allergic to cefuroxime or to similar antibiotics, such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cephalexin (Keflex), and others.

Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, diabetes, a history of intestinal problems, or if you are malnourished.

Ceftin can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are taking birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. You may need to use another form of birth control during treatment with cefuroxime.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Ceftin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

Ceftin can cause you to have false results with certain medical tests, including urine glucose (sugar) tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefuroxime.

Before taking this medicine

Do not take Ceftin if you are allergic to cefuroxime, penicillin, or other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as:

  • cefaclor (Raniclor);

  • cefadroxil (Duricef);

  • cefazolin (Ancef);

  • cefdinir (Omnicef);

  • cefditoren (Spectracef);

  • cefpodoxime (Vantin);

  • cefprozil (Cefzil);

  • ceftibuten (Cedax);

  • cephalexin (Keflex); or

  • cephradine (Velosef).

To make sure Ceftin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an allergy to penicillin;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • a history of intestinal problems, such as colitis;

  • diabetes; or

  • if you are malnourished.

The liquid form may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of Ceftin if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Ceftin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy.

Cefuroxime can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Ceftin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 months old.

How should I take Ceftin?

Take Ceftin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take Ceftin tablets with or without meals. Do not crush the tablet or it could have an unpleasant bitter taste.

Ceftin oral suspension (liquid) must be taken with food.

Shake the liquid well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

If you switch from using the tablet form to using the liquid form, you may not need to use the same exact dosage in number of milligrams. This medicine may not be as effective unless you use the exact form and strength your doctor has prescribed.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Ceftin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Ceftin.

Store the tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator. Do not allow it to freeze. Throw away any unused Ceftin liquid that is older than 10 days.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include seizure (black-out or convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Ceftin?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Ceftin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Ceftin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, or numbness;

  • seizure (black-out or convulsions);

  • kidney problems - little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or

  • severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common Ceftin side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth; or

  • diaper rash in an infant taking liquid Ceftin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Ceftin?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or

  • a diuretic or "water pill."

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with cefuroxime, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this Ceftin only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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