cefdinir, Omnicef (Discontinued)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
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:
GENERIC NAME: cefdinir
BRAND NAME: Omnicef (Discontinued)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Cefdinir is a semi-synthetic (partially man-made) oral antibiotic in the cephalosporin family of antibiotics. The cephalosporin family includes cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefixime (Suprax), cefprozil (Cefzil) as well as many injectable antibiotics. Like other cephalosporins, cefdinir 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. Cefdinir is active against a very wide spectrum of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Streptococcus pyogenes (the cause of strep throat); Hemophilus influenzae; Moraxella catarrhalis; E. coli; Klebsiella; and Proteus mirabilis. It is not active against Pseudomonas. Therapeutic uses of cefdinir include otitis media (infections of the middle ear), infections of soft tissues, and respiratory tract infections. The FDA approved cefdinir in December 1997.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 300 mg. Oral suspension: 125 and 250 mg/5 mL
STORAGE: Cefdinir should be stored at room temperature, between 59 F to 86 F (15 C to 30 C). The suspension may be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days after mixing.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Cefdinir is effective against susceptible bacteria causing infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsils (tonsillitis), throat, larynx (laryngitis), sinuses (sinusitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), skin and other soft tissues.
DOSING: Cefdinir is taken once or twice daily, depending on the type and severity of the infection. The capsules or suspension can be taken with or without food. Patients with advanced kidney disease may need to take lower doses to prevent accumulation of cefdinir since it is eliminated from the body by the kidneys.
For adult infections the usual dose is 300 mg every 12 hours or 600 mg per day for 5-10 days depending on the nature and severity of the infection.
The recommended dose for children 6 months to 12 years of age is 7 mg/kg every 12 hours or 14 mg/kg per day for 5-10 days depending on the type of infection.
For most infections, once daily dosing is as effective as twice daily dosing, although once daily dosing has not been evaluated for the treatment of skin infections or pneumonia.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Aluminum or magnesium containing antacids reduce the absorption of cefdinir from the intestine. Separating the administration of cefdinir and such antacids by two hours prevents this interaction.
Iron supplements also reduce the absorption of cefdinir. Separating the administration of cefdinir and iron supplements by two hours prevents this interaction. There have been reports of reddish stool in patients who have received cefdinir. This could be due to the formation of a chemical complex between cefdinir and iron in the stomach.
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of cefdinir in pregnant women; however, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.
NURSING MOTHERS: Cefdinir is not secreted in breast milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: Cefdinir generally is well tolerated. The most common side effects are diarrhea or loose stools, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, rash, and headache. Rare side effects include abnormal liver tests and allergic reactions. Cefdinir may cause false test results with some tests for sugar in the urine. Like most antibiotics, cefdinir may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis (Clostridium difficile colitis), a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon. Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting cefdinir (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately. Persons who are allergic to the penicillin class of antibiotics (for example amoxicillin, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid [Augmentin]) which are related to cephalosporins, may or may not be allergic to cephalosporins.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 3/26/2013
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