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Cefuroxime

Generic Name: cefuroxime (SEF ue ROX eem)
Brand Name: Ceftin, Kefurox, Zinacef, Zinacef ADD-Vantage, Zinacef TwistVial

Medically reviewed on May 28, 2018

What is cefuroxime?

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

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

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

Important Information

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

Before taking this medicine

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

To make sure cefuroxime 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 cefuroxime 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.

Cefuroxime 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.

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

How should I take cefuroxime?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take cefuroxime in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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

Cefuroxime 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 of cefuroxime, 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. Cefuroxime 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 cefuroxime.

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

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

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 cefuroxime?

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.

Cefuroxime side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: 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 side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth; or

  • diaper rash in an infant taking liquid cefuroxime.

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.

What other drugs will affect cefuroxime?

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

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 medication only for the indication prescribed.

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