Generic Name: Cefuroxime Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is cefuroxime used for?

Cefuroxime is an antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It may also be used before and during certain surgeries to help prevent infection. Cefuroxime is known as a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

How should I take cefuroxime?

Take cefuroxime exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take cefuroxime in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

You may take cefuroxime tablets with or without meals.

Cefuroxime oral suspension (liquid) must be taken with food.

Shake the oral liquid well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

If you switch from using the tablet form to using the oral suspension (liquid) form of cefuroxime, you may not need to use the same exact dosage in number of milligrams. Cefuroxime may not be as effective unless you use the exact form and strength your doctor has prescribed.

Use cefuroxime for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Cefuroxime will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Cefuroxime can cause you to have false results with certain medical tests, including urine glucose (sugar) tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefuroxime.

How do I store cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store cefuroxime in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of cefuroxime that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush cefuroxime down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using cefuroxime?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to cefuroxime, or to other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as:

  • cefaclor (Raniclor);
  • cefadroxil (Duricef);
  • cefazolin (Ancef);
  • cefdinir (Omnicef);
  • cefditoren (Spectracef);
  • cefpodoxime (Vantin);
  • cefprozil (Cefzil);
  • ceftibuten (Cedax);
  • cephalexin (Keflex); or
  • cephradine (Velosef).

Before taking cefuroxime, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially penicillins), or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • a history of intestinal problems, such as colitis;
  • diabetes; or
  • if you are malnourished.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take cefuroxime.

The oral suspension (liquid) form of cefuroxime may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of cefuroxime if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Is it safe to take cefuroxime during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of cefuroxime?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • Chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • Unusual bleeding;
  • Blood in your urine;
  • Seizure (convulsions);
  • Pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • Fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • Skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • Increased thirst, loss of appetite, swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • Painful or difficult urination, urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, mild diarrhea, gas, upset stomach;
  • Cough, stuffy nose;
  • Stiff or tight muscles, muscle pain;
  • Joint pain or swelling;
  • Headache, drowsiness;
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or hyperactive;
  • White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • Unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • Diaper rash in an infant taking liquid cefuroxime;
  • Mild itching or skin rash;
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Colitis, history of;
  • Gastrointestinal disease, history of— cefuroxime may make these worse.
  • Kidney disease;
  • Liver disease;
  • Poor nutritional status—these may be worsened by cefuroxime and you may need to have vitamin K.
  • Kidney problems, temporary or permanent— these may effect how much cefuroxime is in your body, reducing your dose might be needed.

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Cefuroxime for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis:

250 to 500 mg orally twice a day or 750 mg to 1.5 grams intravenous or intramuscular every 8 hours for 5 to 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Cystitis:

Uncomplicated: 250 mg orally twice a day or 750 mg intravenous or intramuscular every 8 hours for 7 to 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Epiglottitis:

1.5 g intravenous every 6 to 8 hours for 7 to 10 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Usual Adult Dose for Joint Infection:

1.5 g intravenous every 8 hours

Therapy should be continued for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the nature and severity of the infection. Longer therapy, 6 weeks or more, may be required for prosthetic joint infections. In addition, removal of the involved prosthesis is usually required.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease:

500 mg orally twice a day for 20 days

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has recommended oral cefuroxime as an alternative to amoxicillin or doxycycline for the treatment of Lyme disease when oral therapy is appropriate (erythema chronicum migrans, cranial nerve palsy, first or second degree heart block, and arthritis). Febrile patients should also be evaluated/treated for human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and babesiosis.

Usual Adult Dose for Meningitis:

1.5 g intravenous every 6 hours or 3 g intravenous every 8 hours for 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Osteomyelitis:

1.5 g intravenous every 8 hours

Therapy should be continued for approximately four to six weeks depending on the nature and severity of the infection. Chronic osteomyelitis may require an additional one to two months of oral antimicrobial therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media:

250 mg orally twice a day for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Peritonitis:

750 mg to 1.5 g intravenous every 8 hours for 10 to 14 days

CAPD-associated peritonitis: 1 gram per 2 liters of dialysate intraperitoneally, followed by a continuous maintenance dosage of 150 to 400 mg per 2 liters of dialysate

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia:

Uncomplicated: 750 mg intravenous or intramuscular every 8 hours

Complicated: 1.5 g intravenous or intramuscular every 8 hours

Once the patient responds clinically to parenteral therapy, cefuroxime 250 mg to 500 mg orally every 8 hours for 7 to 21 days may be administered. Duration of therapy is dependent upon the suspected causative organism’s sensitivity to cefuroxime.

Usual Adult Dose for Pyelonephritis:

750 mg to 1.5 g every 8 hours or 250 to 500 mg orally twice a day for 14 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Usual Adult Dose for Sepsis:

1.5 g intravenous every 6 to 8 hours, in combination with an aminoglycoside

Therapy should be continued for 7 to 21 days depending on the nature and severity of the infection.

Usual Adult Dose for Sinusitis:

250 mg orally twice a day for 10 to 14 days

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally twice a day (uncomplicated infections) or 750 mg IV every 8 hours for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

250 mg orally twice a day for 10 days

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally twice a day

Usual Adult Dose for Urinary Tract Infection:

Uncomplicated: 250 mg orally twice a day for 7 to 10 days or 750 mg intravenous every 8 hours

Complicated: 1.5 g intravenous every 8 hours

What is the dose of Cefuroxime for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Epiglottitis:

3 months to 12 years: 50 to 100 mg/kg/day intravenous in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours (maximum 6 g/day) for 7 to 10 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Usual Pediatric Dose for Joint Infection:

3 months to 12 years: 50 mg/kg intravenous every 8 hours (maximum 6 g/day)

13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Osteomyelitis:

3 months to 12 years: 50 mg/kg intravenous every 8 hours (maximum 6 g/day)

13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Meningitis:

3 months to 12 years: 200 mg to 240 mg/kg/day intravenous in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours (maximum 9 g/day)

13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

3 months to 12 years: 250 mg tablet orally twice a day for 10 days or 15 mg/kg of the suspension twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg

13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Sinusitis:

3 months to 12 years: 250 mg tablet orally twice a day for 10 days or 15 mg/kg of the suspension orally twice a day for 10 to 14 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg

13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Skin and Structure Infection:

3 months to 12 years: 15 mg/kg of the suspension orally twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg

Usual Pediatric Dose for Impetigo:

3 months to 12 years: 15 mg/kg of the suspension orally twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 1000 mg

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

3 months to 12 years: 10 mg/kg of the suspension twice a day for 10 days; maximum daily dose is 500 mg

13 years or older: Adult dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Infection:

3 months to 12 years:

Parenteral: 50 to 100 mg/kg/day intravenous or intramuscular in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours (maximum daily dose 6 g), depending on the nature and severity of the infection

Oral:

Suspension: 10 to 15 mg/kg orally twice a day (maximum dose 1000 mg/day)

Tablets: 250 mg orally twice a day

13 years or older: Adult dose

How is cefuroxime available?

Cefuroxime is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Tablet 500 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of cefuroxime, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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