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Mefoxin Side Effects

Generic name: cefoxitin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 16, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about cefoxitin. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Mefoxin.

Applies to cefoxitin: intravenous powder for solution, intravenous solution.

Serious side effects of Mefoxin

Along with its needed effects, cefoxitin (the active ingredient contained in Mefoxin) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking cefoxitin:

More common

  • Changes in skin color
  • pain
  • swelling of the foot or leg
  • tenderness


Incidence not known

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
  • back, leg, or stomach pains
  • bleeding and bruising
  • bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • cloudy urine
  • cough
  • coughing up blood
  • cracks in the skin
  • dark urine
  • decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
  • diarrhea
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing, chewing, swallowing, or talking
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of discomfort
  • fever
  • general body swelling
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • headache
  • high fever
  • hives
  • increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
  • increased thirst
  • inflammation of the joints
  • itching
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • joint or muscle pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of heat from the body
  • muscle aches
  • muscle weakness
  • nosebleeds
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pale skin
  • paralysis
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rash
  • red or black, tarry stools
  • red or dark brown urine
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red, swollen skin
  • scaly skin
  • severe tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • swollen lymph glands
  • swollen or painful glands
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual weight loss
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of blood
  • wheezing
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Other side effects of Mefoxin

Some side effects of cefoxitin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

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

Incidence not known

  • Hives or welts
  • redness of the skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to cefoxitin: injectable powder for injection, intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution.


Common (1% to 10%): Induration, pain, pain in the infused vein, phlebitis, tenderness, thrombophlebitis, vein erythema, vein exudates, vein induration[Ref]

Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis occurred with IV administration.

Induration, pain, and tenderness occurred in of patients who received IM administration.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Maculopapular rash, rash/skin rashes, urticaria

Frequency not reported: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, pruritus, severe cutaneous adverse reactions, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, colitis, pseudomembranous colitis[Ref]

Pseudomembranous colitis may occur during or after treatment.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Agranulocytosis, anemia, aplastic anemia, bone marrow depression, eosinophilia, granulocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, neutropenia, pancytopenia, positive direct Coombs test, prolonged prothrombin time, thrombocytopenia[Ref]


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Acute renal failure

Frequency not reported: Elevation in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), elevation in serum creatinine, interstitial nephritis, prerenal azotemia, renal dysfunction, toxic nephropathy[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Cholestasis, elevated bilirubin, jaundice, liver dysfunction, transient elevations in ALT/AST/serum alkaline phosphatase[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Flushing, hemorrhage, hypotension[Ref]


Allergic reactions included anaphylaxis, angioedema, dyspnea, eosinophilia, fever, flushing, interstitial nephritis, pruritus, and skin reactions (e.g., exfoliative dermatitis, maculopapular rash, rash, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria). Anaphylaxis rarely led to death.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Anaphylaxis, angioedema, other allergic reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Serum sickness-like reaction, superinfection[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Death, fever[Ref]


Frequency not reported: False positive for urinary glucose, transient elevation in LDH[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Vaginitis, vaginitis candidiasis[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Seizures[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myasthenia gravis exacerbation[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Dyspnea[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Mefoxin (cefoxitin)." Merck & Company Inc (2002):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.