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cefuroxime

Pronunciation

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

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.

What is the most important information I should know about cefuroxime?

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cefuroxime?

Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to cefuroxime, or to 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 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 this medicine 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Cefuroxime dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis:

250 to 500 mg orally twice a day or 750 mg to 1.5 grams IV or IM every 8 hours for 5 to 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Cystitis:

Uncomplicated: 250 mg orally twice a day or 750 mg IV or IM every 8 hours for 7 to 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Epiglottitis:

1.5 g IV every 6 to 8 hours for 7 to 10 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Usual Adult Dose for Gonococcal Infection -- Disseminated:

750 mg to 1.5 g IV every 8 hours

Parenteral therapy should be continued for 24 to 48 hours after clinical improvement is demonstrated. Oral therapy with cefixime or cefpodoxime may then be continued to complete a total course of at least 1 week.

Doxycycline therapy for 7 days (if not pregnant) or single dose azithromycin (1 g) is also recommended to treat possible concurrent chlamydial infection.

The patient's sexual partner(s) should also be evaluated/treated.

Usual Adult Dose for Gonococcal Infection -- Uncomplicated:

Uncomplicated infections of the cervix, urethra, or rectum:
Oral: 1 g orally one time
Intramuscular: 1.5 g IM (0.75 g administered in two separate sites) one time with 1 g probenecid orally

Doxycycline therapy for 7 days (if not pregnant) or single dose azithromycin (1 g) is also recommended to treat possible concurrent chlamydial infection.

The patient's sexual partner(s) should also be evaluated/treated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest cefuroxime axetil may be effective as an oral alternative for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea of the cervix, urethra, or rectum.

Usual Adult Dose for Joint Infection:

1.5 g IV every 8 hours
Therapy should be continued for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the nature and severity of the infection. Longer therapy, 6 weeks or more, may be required for prosthetic joint infections. In addition, removal of the involved prosthesis is usually required.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease:

500 mg orally twice a day for 20 days

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has recommended oral cefuroxime as an alternative to amoxicillin or doxycycline for the treatment of Lyme disease when oral therapy is appropriate (erythema chronicum migrans, cranial nerve palsy, first or second degree heart block, and arthritis). Febrile patients should also be evaluated/treated for human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and babesiosis.

Usual Adult Dose for Meningitis:

1.5 g IV every 6 hours or 3 g IV every 8 hours for 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Osteomyelitis:

1.5 g IV every 8 hours
Therapy should be continued for approximately four to six weeks depending on the nature and severity of the infection. Chronic osteomyelitis may require an additional one to two months of oral antimicrobial therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media:

250 mg orally twice a day for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Peritonitis:

750 mg to 1.5 g IV every 8 hours for 10 to 14 days

CAPD-associated peritonitis: 1 gram per 2 liters of dialysate intraperitoneally, followed by a continuous maintenance dosage of 150 to 400 mg per 2 liters of dialysate

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia:

Uncomplicated: 750 mg IV or IM every 8 hours
Complicated: 1.5 g IV or IM every 8 hours

Once the patient responds clinically to parenteral therapy, cefuroxime 250 mg to 500 mg orally every 8 hours for 7 to 21 days may be administered. Duration of therapy is dependent upon the suspected causative organism's sensitivity to cefuroxime.

Usual Adult Dose for Pyelonephritis:

750 mg to 1.5 g every 8 hours or 250 to 500 mg orally twice a day for 14 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Usual Adult Dose for Sepsis:

1.5 g IV every 6 to 8 hours, in combination with an aminoglycoside
Therapy should be continued for 7 to 21 days depending on the nature and severity of the infection.

Usual Adult Dose for Sinusitis:

250 mg orally twice a day for 10 to 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally twice a day (uncomplicated infections) or 750 mg IV every 8 hours for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Surgical Prophylaxis:

Preoperative: 1.5 g IV 30 to 60 minutes before the initial incision
Postoperative: 750 mg IV or IM every 8 hours when the procedure is prolonged
Open heart surgery: 1.5 g IV at induction and every 12 hours thereafter for a total of 6 g

Cefuroxime prophylaxis is recommended as alternative to cefazolin for cardiothoracic surgery, heart transplantation, and lung or heart-lung transplantation. Cefazolin is considered the drug of choice in clean operations because it is active against Staphylococcus aureus and S epidermidis, has a long duration of action, and is relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, vancomycin may be indicated in patients with severe beta-lactam hypersensitivity or for major surgeries at institutions with high rates of MRSA or MRSE infections.

Usual Adult Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

250 mg orally twice a day for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally twice a day

Usual Adult Dose for Urinary Tract Infection:

Uncomplicated: 250 mg orally twice a day for 7 to 10 days or 750 mg IV every 8 hours
Complicated: 1.5 g IV every 8 hours

Usual Pediatric Dose for Epiglottitis:

3 months to 12 years: 50 to 100 mg/kg/day IV in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours (maximum 6 g/day) for 7 to 10 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Usual Pediatric Dose for Joint Infection:

3 months to 12 years: 50 mg/kg IV every 8 hours (maximum 6 g/day)
13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Osteomyelitis:

3 months to 12 years: 50 mg/kg IV every 8 hours (maximum 6 g/day)
13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Meningitis:

3 months to 12 years: 200 mg to 240 mg/kg/day IV in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours (maximum 9 g/day)
13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

3 months to 12 years: 250 mg tablet orally twice a day for 10 days or 15 mg/kg of the suspension twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg
13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Sinusitis:

3 months to 12 years: 250 mg tablet orally twice a day for 10 days or 15 mg/kg of the suspension orally twice a day for 10 to 14 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg
13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Skin and Structure Infection:

3 months to 12 years: 15 mg/kg of the suspension orally twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg

Usual Pediatric Dose for Impetigo:

3 months to 12 years: 15 mg/kg of the suspension orally twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

3 months to 12 years: 10 mg/kg of the suspension twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 500 mg
13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Infection:

3 months to 12 years:
Parenteral: 50 to 100 mg/kg/day IV or IM in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours (maximum daily dose 6 g), depending on the nature and severity of the infection
Oral:
Suspension: 10 to 15 mg/kg orally twice a day (maximum dose 1000 mg/day)
Tablets: 250 mg orally twice a day

13 years or older: Adult dose

What other drugs will affect cefuroxime?

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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about cefuroxime.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2016-05-27, 8:23:03 AM.

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