cefaclor, Raniclor

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GENERIC NAME: cefaclor

BRAND NAME: Raniclor

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Cefaclor is a semi-synthetic (partially man-made) oral antibiotic in the cephalosporin family of antibiotics. The cephalosporin family includes cephalexin (Keflex), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefixime (Suprax), cefprozil (Cefzil) as well as many injectable antibiotics. Like other cephalosporins, cefaclor stops bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Cefaclor is effective against many different bacterial organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli, and many others.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets (chewable): 125, 187, 250, and 375 mg. Capsules: 250 and 500 mg. Oral Suspension: 125, 187, 250, and 375 mg/5ml.

STORAGE: Capsules should be stored at room temperature, 59-86 F (15-30 C) in a tightly closed container. The oral suspension should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Cefaclor is effective against susceptible bacteria that cause infections of the middle ear, tonsillitis, throat infections, laryngitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It also is used in treating urinary tract infections, and skin infections.

DOSING: The usual adult dose of cefaclor is 250-500 mg every 8 hours or 375-500 mg every 12 hours.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Aluminum or magnesium containing antacids reduce the absorption of cefaclor from the intestine. Separating the administration of cefaclor and such antacids by one hour prevents this interaction.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of cefaclor in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: Small amounts of cefaclor are secreted in breast milk. The effects of this small amount on the infant is unknown.

SIDE EFFECTS: Cefaclor is generally well tolerated, and side effects usually are transient. Reported side effects include rash, fever, joint pain and arthritis, abnormal liver tests, jaundice, vaginitis, itching, nervousness, insomnia, and hallucinations.

Cefaclor should be avoided by patients with known allergy to cephalosporin type antibiotics. Since cefaclor is chemically related to penicillin, patients allergic to penicillin can have an allergic reaction (sometimes even anaphylaxis) if given cefaclor. Treatment with cefaclor and other antibiotics can alter the normal bacteria flora of the colon and permit overgrowth of C. difficile, a bacteria responsible for pseudomembranous colitis. Patients who develop pseudomembranous colitis as a result of antibiotics treatment can experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and sometimes even shock.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 6/22/2009




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