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Cefuroxime (oral/injection)

Generic name: cefuroxime (oral/injection) [ SEF-ue-ROX-eem ]
Brand names: Ceftin, Kefurox, Zinacef, Zinacef ADD-Vantage, Zinacef TwistVial
Dosage forms: injectable powder for injection (1.5 g; 7.5 g; 750 mg), oral tablet (250 mg; 500 mg)
Drug class: Second generation cephalosporins

Medically reviewed by on Oct 23, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections of the ear, nose, throat, lungs, skin, bones, joints, bladder, or kidneys. Cefuroxime is also used to treat gonorrhea, sepsis, or early Lyme disease.

Cefuroxime injection is sometimes given before and after a surgery to prevent infection.

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

Cefuroxime side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Cefuroxime may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of cefuroxime may include:

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.


Cefuroxime can cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions. Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to an antibiotic, especially penicillin.

Before taking this medicine

Cefuroxime can cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions. You should not use cefuroxime if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic, such as:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Cefuroxime oral suspension may contain phenylalanine and could be harmful if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are being treated for gonorrhea: Having gonorrhea during pregnancy may increase the risk of complications including premature birth, low birth weight, or gonorrhea developing the newborn. The benefit of treating this condition may outweigh any risks to the baby.

Not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 months old.

How should I use cefuroxime?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Cefuroxime oral is taken by mouth.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it. Take with or without food.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid). Measure a dose with the supplied measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Take with food.

Tell your doctor if a child taking cefuroxime has trouble swallowing the medicine.

Cefuroxime oral may be given as a single dose to treat gonorrhea. For most other infections, cefuroxime oral is usually given for 7 to 10 days, or for 20 days to treat early Lyme disease.

Your dose needs may change if you switch from tablets to oral suspension. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Cefuroxime injection is given into a muscle or a vein, usually for 5 to 10 days.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand how to use an injection.

You may need to mix cefuroxime with a liquid (diluent) before using it. Use only the diluent your doctor has recommended.

Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Call your pharmacist if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it.

Do not reuse a needle or syringe. Place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container and dispose of it following state or local laws. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Keep using this medicine even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses could make your infection resistant to medication. Cefuroxime will not treat a viral infection (flu or a common cold).

Cefuroxime can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefuroxime.

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

Store the oral suspension in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after 10 days.

After mixing cefuroxime for injection, you will need to use it within a certain number of hours or days. This will depend on the diluent and how you store the mixture (at room temperature or in a refrigerator). Be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine if using injections at home.

If the cefuroxime injection is frozen when you receive it, thaw the medicine at room temperature (do not use heat).

After thawing, you may store the cefuroxime injection at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or in a refrigerator for up to 7 days. Do not refreeze the medicine once it has been thawed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use take doses at one time.

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a cefuroxime injection.

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.

What should I avoid while using cefuroxime?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea. Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody.

What other drugs will affect cefuroxime?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect cefuroxime, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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

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