Suprax (cefixime) vs. Rocephin (ceftriaxone): What's the difference?

What are Suprax and Rocephin?

Suprax is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), gonorrhea, and acute bacterial bronchitis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other cephalosporins include cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefprozil (Cefzil), and injectable forms. Like other cephalosporins, Suprax 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; most bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Suprax is active against a wide spectrum of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes (the cause of strep throat), Hemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, E. coli, Klebsiella, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella, Shigella, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Rocephin is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections (otitis media), urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin and skin structure infections, gonorrhea, and bone and joint infections. It is also used to treat meningitis and as prophylaxis to reduce the incidence of postoperative infections in patients undergoing surgical procedures.

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What are the side effects of Suprax and Rocephin?

Suprax

Common side effects of Suprax include:

Other side effects include:

Rocephin

Do not use this medicine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to Rocephin or any other cephalosporin antibiotic. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads, and blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have any of the following side effects:

  • A seizure (convulsions)
  • Severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, cold or flu symptoms, mouth sores
  • Pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine
  • Severe pain in your upper stomach that comes and goes or spreads to your back
  • A blood cell disorder -- skin rash or tight feeling, severe tingling or numbness, pain, muscle weakness
  • Kidney or bladder problems -- pain in your side or lower back spreading to your groin, blood in your urine, painful or difficult urination, little or no urine

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

What is the dosage of Suprax vs. Rocephin?

Suprax

  • The recommended adult dose for otitis media, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and urinary tract infections is 400 mg once daily or divided and given as 200 mg every 12 hours.
  • Pediatric patients (6 months and older) have a recommended dose of 8 mg/kg/day once daily or in two doses of 4/mg/kg every 12 hours.

Rocephin

  • The usual adult daily dose is 1 to 2 grams given once a day (or in equally divided doses twice a day) depending on the type and severity of infection. The total daily dose should not exceed 4 grams.
  • Rocephin is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV.
  • A health care professional will give you this injection when Rocephin is used to prevent infection from surgery.
  • You may be shown how to use an IV at home to treat an infection. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.
  • Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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What drugs interact with Suprax and Rocephin?

Suprax

  • Probenecid (Benemid) may increase the blood concentration of Suprax by decreasing removal of Suprax by the kidney. This interaction sometimes is used to enhance the effect of cephalosporins.
  • Combining Suprax with aminoglycosides -- for example, tobramycin (Tobradex) -- produces additive bacterial killing effects but also may increase the risk of harmful effects to the kidney.
  • Exenatide (Byetta) may delay or reduce the absorption of cephalosporins. Cephalosporins should be administered one hour before exenatide.
  • Suprax may cause a false positive urine ketone test.

Rocephin

  • Rocephin must not be administered simultaneously with calcium-containing IV solutions, including continuous calcium-containing infusions such as parenteral nutrition via a Y-site. However, in patients other than neonates, Rocephin and calcium-containing solutions may be administered sequentially of one another if the infusion lines are thoroughly flushed between infusions with a compatible fluid.
  • Other drugs may interact with Rocephin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

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Are Suprax and Rocephin safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Suprax

  • Safety in pregnancy has not been established for Suprax. There are no adequate studies in pregnant women; however, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.
  • Safety in nursing mothers has not been established. It is not known if Suprax is excreted in breast milk.

Rocephin

  • Reproductive studies have been performed in mice and rats at doses up to 20 times the usual human dose and have no evidence of embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity or teratogenicity. In primates, no embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was demonstrated at a dose approximately 3 times the human dose.
  • There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproductive studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed.
  • Low concentrations of Rocephin are excreted in human milk. Exercise caution when administering Rocephin to a nursing woman.

Summary

Suprax and Rocephin are cephalosporin antibiotics used to treat infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and gonorrhea. Suprax is also used to treat acute bacterial bronchitis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Rocephin is also used to treat meningitis and as prophylaxis to reduce the incidence of postoperative infections in patients undergoing surgical procedures.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/18/2019
References
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