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September 14, 2020

Cefuroxime is a broad-spectrum antibiotic especially for people who are allergic to penicillin. It is good at treating infections caused by bacteria like:

  • Infection of the airway like bronchitis
  • Gonorrhea, a type of sexually transmitted disease
  • Lyme disease, an infection due to tick bites
  • Meningitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Ear infection such as otitis media
  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Infection of the sinuses such as sinusitis
  • Infection of the throat such as tonsillitis, laryngitis, and pharyngitis

Cefuroxime is a second-generation cephalosporin type of antibiotic. It was approved for medical use since 1997 and is listed as one of the most essential medicines needed in the health system. Cefuroxime targets both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria but are less effective than the first generation type.

This second-generation cephalosporin is often used for the treatment of respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Its mechanism of action is the same as other β-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin. It stops the growth of the bacteria by interfering with the bacterial cell wall. It disrupts the synthesis of the peptidoglycan important for cell wall structural integrity. This impairs the bond that holds the bacterial cell wall together allowing holes to appear. This kills the bacterial and eventually clears up the infection.

When and How to Use Cefuroxime

The dose of Cefuroxime and the duration of treatment are based on your condition, age, the strength of the medicine, and your other medications.

  • For most adult infections the dose is between 250 mg to 500 mg two times a day for 10 days.
  • The dose in treating gonorrhea is a single dose of 1 gram.
  • The dose for children is 250 mg a day for 10 days.
  • The onset of action of this medication can be observed within 2 to 3 hours after administration. The duration of the effects lasts for an average of 4 to 8 hours.

Take Cefuroxime by mouth with plenty of liquid. You can take it with or without food. Take it exactly as you are told by your physician. Do not take more or less than what is recommended. Take Cefuroxime at the same time each day or at an evenly spaced time. If you happen to miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember but if it’s almost time to take your dose, continue with your regular dosing schedule.

Possible Side Effects of Cefuroxime

Cefuroxime is generally well-tolerated and side effects can be temporary. Common side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches

Some side effects can be serious and may need medical attention. These are:

  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or eyes
  • Wheezing
  • A return of the infection
  • Watery or bloody stool

What should I know before taking Cefuroxime?      

  • Cefuroxime is not suitable for pregnant women, and children.
  • Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to cephalosporin type of antibiotics or penicillin. Be sure to inform your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
  • Cefuroxime is excreted through the kidney. People with kidney problems must use this medicine with caution. High levels of this medicine may build up in your body if your kidney doesn’t work well.
  • This medicine is not also suitable for older adults as their kidney may not work well.
  • Like any other antibiotics, Cefuroxime will not work against flu, colds, and other viral infections. Using antibiotics in treating viral infections may increase your risk of getting infections later.
  • You should begin to feel better after a few days of treatment. If your symptoms persist or do not improve, inform your doctor right away.
  • If you are taking an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium, take them 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking this medicine.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had gastrointestinal diseases like colitis, liver, or kidney disease.

Getting the Best Result from Cefuroxime

  • The prolonged use of antibiotics can lead to severe diarrhea caused by C. difficile bacteria. If your diarrhea gets worse, do not use anti-diarrhea medication. Call your doctor.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women can only use this medicine only when prescribed by the doctor.
  • Cefuroxime may interact with other medicines you are taking and changes the way the drug will work. To prevent interactions, be sure to inform your doctor about all your medications including those bought without prescriptions, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
  • Oral contraceptives may not work well when taken with this medicine. It is therefore advisable that you use a different birth control method during your treatment with cefuroxime.
  • Finish the entire duration of treatment. Do not stop taking the medication even if you feel better after the first few days of treatment. Stopping your medication too soon can lead to the reoccurrence of the infection. The bacteria will also become resistant to the antibiotic.

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