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- What is cefuroxime, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for cefuroxime?
- Is cefuroxime available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for cefuroxime?
- What are the side effects of cefuroxime?
- What is the dosage for cefuroxime?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with cefuroxime?
- Is cefuroxime safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about cefuroxime?
What is cefuroxime, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Cefuroxime is a semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic, chemically similar to penicillin. Cephalosporins stop or slow the growth of bacterial cells by preventing bacteria from forming the cell wall that surrounds each cell. The cell wall protects bacteria from the external environment and keeps the contents of the cell together. Without a cell wall, bacteria are not able to survive. Cefuroxime is effective against a wide variety of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli, N. gonorrhea, and many others. The FDA approved cefuroxime in December 1987.
What are the side effects of cefuroxime?
Cefuroxime is generally well tolerated, and side effects are usually transient. Commonly reported side effects are:
Other important side effects include:
Since cefuroxime is chemically related to penicillin, patients allergic to penicillin may develop an allergic reaction (sometimes even anaphylaxis) to cefuroxime. Cefuroxime like other antibiotics can alter the colon's normal bacteria, leading to overgrowth of a bacterium called Clostridium difficile. Overgrowth of this bacterium leads to the release of toxins that contribute to the development of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, which may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal pseudomembranous colitis.
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What is the dosage for cefuroxime?
Typical adult oral doses are 250 or 500 mg twice daily for 7-20 days depending on the type and severity of the infection. A single 1000 mg dose may used for uncomplicated gonorrhea. The tablets and suspension are not interchangeable.
Which drugs or supplements interact with cefuroxime?
Probenecid increases the concentration of cefuroxime in the blood. Drugs that reduce acidity in the stomach (for example, antacids, H2-blockers, proton pump inhibitors) may reduce absorption of cefuroxime.
Is cefuroxime safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Cephalosporins are usually considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Cefuroxime is excreted in breast milk and may cause adverse effects in the infant. Cefuroxime is approved for pediatric patients 3 months and older.
What else should I know about cefuroxime?
What preparations of cefuroxime are available?
- Tablets: 125, 250 and 500 mg.
- Powder for Oral Suspension: 125 or 250 mg per 5 ml (teaspoon).
- Injection: 750 mg, 1.5 g and 7.5 g.
How should I keep cefuroxime stored?
- Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
- The oral suspension should be stored between 2 C - 30 C (36 F - 86 F) prior to mixing and refrigerated between 2 C - 8 C (36 F - 46 F) after mixing. The suspension should be discarded after 10 days.
Cefuroxime (Ceftin, Zinacef) is an antibiotic prescribed for the treatment of infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, UTIs, gonorrhea, and COPD. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Life Expectancy
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Bronchitis (Acute) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Remedies, and Cures
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Treatment & Diagnosis
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Medications & Supplements
- cefprozil, Cefzil
- cephalexin (Keflex)
- cefixime (Suprax)
- cefadroxil, Duricef (Discontinued)
- cefdinir (Omnicef has been discontinued)
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Prevention & Wellness
Lung Disease/COPD Resources
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Adenoids and Tonsils
Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms of bad breath, snoring, congestion, headache, hoarseness, laryngitis, and coughing up blood.
Tonsillitis can be caused acute infection of the tonsils, and several types of bacteria or viruses (for example, strep throat or mononucleosis). There are two types of tonsillitis, acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts from one to two weeks while chronic tonsillitis can last from months to years.
Treatment of tonsillitis and adenoids include antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to relieve pain and inflammation, for example, salt water gargle, slippery elm throat lozenges, sipping warm beverages and eating frozen foods (ice cream, popsicles), serrapeptase, papain, and andrographism Some people with chronic tonsillitis may need surgery (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy ).
Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is is short in duration (10 to 20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, and/or air pollutants. Conditions that accompany COPD include chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, and emphysema. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough. Treatment of COPD include GOLD guidelines, smoking cessation, medications, and surgery. The life expectancy of a person with COPD depends on the stage of the disease.
Middle ear infection or inflammation (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Seventy-five percent of children in the U.S. suffer from otitis media at some point.
Signs and symptoms in babies, toddlers, and children may:
- Be irritable and pull and tug at their ears
- Be fussy
- Have problems feeding or sleeping
- Complain about pain and fullness in the ear
- Have a fever
- A buildup of pus in the ear
- Have signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection
Treatment depends upon the type (chronic or acute).
Ear Infection QuizIs it possible to prevent ear infections? Take the Ear Infection (Otitis Media) Quiz to learn the risks, causes, symptoms and treatments for the common ear infection.
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Lyme DiseaseLyme disease is a bacterial illness, which is spread by ticks when they bite the skin. Initially the disease affects the skin causing a reddish rash associated with flu-like symptoms. It takes weeks to months after the initial redness of the skin for its effects to spread throughout the body. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. Lyme disease can be prevented by using tick avoidance techniques.
Lyme Disease SlideshowLyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted to humans through infected deer ticks. Lyme disease symptoms include a bull's-eye shaped rash. See pictures of Lyme disease rashes and ticks that carry Lyme disease.
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Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
Strep Throat QuizTake the Strep (Streptococcal) Throat Infection Quiz to learn about causes, symptoms, treatments, prevention methods, diagnosis, and complications of this common infectious disease.
Strep Throat (GAS)
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat. Signs and symptoms of strep throat include headache, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and fever.
Strep throat symptoms in infants and children are different than in adults. Strep throat is contagious and is generally passed from person-to-person. Treatment for strep throat symptoms include home remedies and OTC medication; however, the only cure for strep throat are antibiotics.
The Clap (Gonorrhea) PictureA sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea. See a picture of The Clap (Gonorrhea) and learn more about the health topic.
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