cefaclor, Raniclor

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is cefaclor, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

Is cefaclor available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for cefaclor?

Yes

What are the side effects of cefaclor?

Cefaclor is generally well tolerated, and side effects usually are transient. Reported side effects include:

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.

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