Cefuroxime: What is it? What is it for? How does it work? Secondary Effects, Precautions, Warnings and Considerations

It is an antibiotic that belongs to the cephalosporin group. It is used to treat various infections caused by germs sensitive to the medicine.

For example, sinusitis , otitis, tonsillitis , pharyngitis , bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and infections of the skin and soft tissues.

Uses of Cefuroxime

It is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medicine is called a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

It treats only bacterial infections. It does not work for viral infections (eg, common cold, flu). The unnecessary use or excessive use of any antibiotic can lead to a decrease in its effectiveness.

Infections that treats:

  • Pharyngitis.
  • Otitis media.
  • Sinusitis and bronchitis.
  • Infections of the urinary tract.
  • Gonorrhea.
  • Lyme’s desease.

How does Cefuroxime work?

Cefuroxime belongs to a class of medications called cephalosporins. They are often used to treat similar conditions.

It works by interfering with the formation of the cell walls of bacteria. This causes the cell walls to break, resulting in the death of it.

Side effects

Like all medicines, Cefuroxime can have side effects, although not everybody gets them.

The frequency of side effects is classified as:

  • Very common: affects 1 of 1-10 patients.
  • Frequent: affects 1 in 10 to 100 patients.
  • Uncommon: affects 1 in 100-1,000 patients.
  • Rare: affects 1 in 1,000-10,000 patients.
  • Very rare: affects less than 1 in 10,000 patients.
  • Unknown incident: the actual incidence can not be established from the available data.

Stop taking the medication and consult your doctor immediately:

If you experience difficulty breathing ( asthma , bronchospasm), tightness in the chest, swelling of the eyelids, face or lips, or if urticaria or lumps appear on the skin.

If you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sickness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Severe stomach pains
  • Bleeding from the rectum.
  • Stools with mucus or pus.
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes.
  • Discoloration or itching on the skin.
  • Headaches.

Common side effects

  • Dizziness due to headache.
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort that includes diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain.
  • Eosinophilia (increased number of certain types of leukocytes, is determined in a blood test).

Uncommon side effects

  • Thrombocytopenia (decrease in the number of platelets).
  • Leukopenia (decrease in the number of white blood cells) sometimes severe.
  • Eruption.

Rare side effects

  • Urticaria.
  • Pseudomembranous colitis (bloody and mucous diarrhea).

Very rare side effects

  • Hemolytic anemia (decrease in the number of red blood cells).
  • Fever of the drug, serum sickness (late onset allergic reaction).
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
  • Serious skin rashes.

If any of the side effects is serious, tell your doctor or pharmacist.

Interaction with other medications

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using or have recently used other medicines, including herbal products or medicines obtained without a prescription. Inform your doctor if:

  1. You are using contraception, as it may be necessary to use an additional contraceptive method.
  2. You are taking estrogen (female sex hormones), since concomitant administration with Cefuroxime can reduce its effects.

This medication should not be administered with bacteriostatic antibiotics (Chloramphenicol, Tetracyclines, Sulfonamides).

Caution should be exercised if Cefuroxime is taken together with potent diuretics (such as Furosemide and Etacrinic acid), which increase the risk of renal failure by cephalosporins.

When taken with certain medications that reduce stomach acid, the body may not absorb Cefuroxime properly. This means that it may not work well. Examples of these medications:

Antacids, such as:

  • Calcium carbonate.
  • Magnesium hydroxide.
  • Aluminum hydroxide.

H2 antagonists, such as:

  • Famotidina.
  • Cimetidine
  • Ranitidine.

Proton pump inhibitors, such as:

Cefuroxime should be taken at least 1 hour before taking antacids, or 2 hours later. H2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors should be avoided during treatment with Cefuroxime.

What is the usual dose?

Adults and children over 12 years: 250 mg, orally, every 12 hours, either in tablet or the equivalent amount of suspension.

In some diseases, such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia, the dose can be increased up to 500 mg per dose, orally, every 12 hours, as long as your doctor deems it necessary.

Children from 5 to 12 years old: 125 mg orally every 12 hours. In children with otitis media and in other cases where the doctor deems it necessary, the medication can be increased to 250 mg per dose orally, every 12 hours, either in tablet or in an equivalent amount of suspension.

Children from 3 months to 5 years: in general, 15 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, divided into two doses. In children with otitis media and in other cases where the doctor may consider it necessary, the dose may be increased.

It is advisable to take the whole tablet without chewing or grinding, with a little water or other liquid and after eating something.

There is no experience of use in children under 3 months.


Before taking Cefuroxime, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penicillins or other cephalosporin antibiotics (eg, Cephalexin); or if you have any other allergies.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially kidney disease, intestinal disease (colitis), liver disease, poor nutrition.

This medicine may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria, or any other condition in which you should restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the safe use of this medication.

Cefuroxime may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, use machinery, or perform activities that require alertness until you are sure you can perform those activities healthily. Limit alcoholic beverages.

It can cause live bacterial vaccines (such as the typhoid vaccine) to not work as well.

Caution is advised when using this medication in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.

It should be used only when clearly necessary during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.


Do not use Cefuroxime if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to it, to penicillins, to cephalosporins or to any of the other ingredients of the medicine prescribed for you.

If you think you may be allergic, consult your doctor. Allergy symptoms may include:

  • Asthma attacks with difficulty breathing, audible wheezing or rapid breathing.
  • More or less sudden swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other part of the body. It is especially critical if it affects the vocal cords.
  • Urticaria, itching, rash.
  • Anaphylactic shock (loss of consciousness, pallor, sweating, etc.)

Take special care with Cefuroxime if, after taking the medication, an allergic reaction occurs. In this case, stop the treatment and consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Do not take Cefuroxime if you have kidney disease, or if you have liver disease; Your doctor can change the dose you should take.

The use of antibiotics such as Cefuroxime can lead to another type of infection. Prolonged use can also cause other infections (by microorganisms not sensitive to the drug), which may require discontinuation of treatment.

General considerations

Take this medicine at the time recommended by your doctor.

Cefuroxime can be taken with or without food. It must not be cut or crushed.

Dose omitted?

If you miss a dose or do not take the medication as scheduled, your medication may not work well or may stop working completely. For this medication to work properly, there needs to be a certain amount in your body at all times.

If you forget to take your dose, do it as soon as you remember. But if you remember it a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one. Never try to catch up by taking two at a time. This could cause dangerous side effects.

Did you drink too much?

It could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose may include sudden and irregular movements of any limb or part of the body.

If you think you have taken too much of this medication, call your doctor or the local poison control center.

Take with food or drinks?

This medicine should be taken after eating some foods. If desired, the oral suspension may be cooled if diluted with fruit juices or cold milk and taken immediately. In no case should be mixed with hot drinks.

Pregnancy and lactation

  • Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Cefuroxime should be used with caution during pregnancy. Your doctor will evaluate the need to use this medication.
  • This medicine passes into breast milk and, therefore, caution should be exercised when administering to nursing mothers.
  • If you become pregnant while using Cefuroxime, consult your doctor immediately.


  • Store Cefuroxime tablets at a temperature between 59 ° F and 86 ° F (15 ° C and 30 ° C).
  • Do not store this medication in damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Is going to travel?

  • Always take your medication with you. When you fly, keep it in your handbag.
  • Do not worry about the airport X-ray machines, they can not harm your medication.
  • You may need to show the airport staff the Cefuroxime pharmacy label. Always carry the original box with the label.
  • Do not put this medication in the glove compartment of your car or leave it in it. Be sure to avoid doing this when it is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor can do blood tests to monitor your kidney function before prescribing Cefuroxime and during your treatment. If your kidneys are not working well, your doctor may recommend that you take Cefuroxime less often.