cefuroxime

  • 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 cefuroxime? What are the uses for cefuroxime?

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. Cefuroxime is used to treat infections of the middle ear, sinuses, skin, tonsils, and throat, and to treat laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, COPD, and early Lyme disease. The FDA approved cefuroxime in December 1987.

What brand names are available for cefuroxime?

Ceftin, Zinacef

Is cefuroxime available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for cefuroxime?

Yes

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.

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 be used for uncomplicated gonorrhea. The tablets and suspension are not interchangeable.

QUESTION

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma. See Answer

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 while 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.

Summary

Cefuroxime (Ceftin, Zinacef) is an antibiotic used to treat infections of the middle ear, sinuses, skin, tonsils, and throat, and to treat laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, COPD, and early Lyme disease. Review side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/5/2019
References
FDA Prescribing Information
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