How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Cefixime is an antibiotic that belongs to the family of medications known as cephalosporins. It is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. It is used to treat gonorrhea as well as infections of the ear, sinus, bladder, throat, and lung.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each 5 mL of reconstituted suspension contains 100 mg of cefixime. Nonmedicinal ingredients: artificial strawberry flavour, sodium benzoate, sucrose, and xanthan gum.
Each oblong, biconvex, white, film-coated tablet, with rounded flattened corners, scored on each side, and engraved with "EM 400" on one side, contains cefixime 400 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium phosphate dibasic dihydrate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, light mineral oil, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of cefixime is 400 mg taken once a day.
The recommended children's dose is 8 mg per kilogram of body weight taken once daily. Children weighing more than 50 kg or who are older than 12 years should be treated with the recommended adult dose.
Use an oral syringe or a medication spoon to measure each dose of the liquid. These devices give a more accurate measurement than household teaspoons. Shake the medication well before measuring each dose.
Finish all of this medication, even you start to feel better. This will reduce the chance of the infection returning.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store the tablet form of this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children. Cefixime liquid is good for 14 days at room temperature or refrigerated. Any leftover liquid should be discarded after 14 days.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to cefixime or any of the ingredients of the medication
- are allergic to any of the cephalosporin antibiotics
People allergic to penicillin should take this medication with caution as they have an increased risk of being allergic to cephalosporin antibiotics.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- diarrhea (mild)
- mild diarrhea
- mild stomach cramps
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- severe abdominal or stomach cramps and pain
- signs of kidney problems (e.g., increased urination at night, decreased urine production, blood in the urine, swelling of the feet or ankles)
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
- skin rash, itching, redness, or swelling
- vaginal itching or discharge
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- diarrhea (watery and severe; may also be bloody)
- fever that appears after starting the antibiotic
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- signs of a severe skin reaction (e.g., blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, a rash combined with fever or discomfort, swollen glands, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort)
- signs of hemolytic anemia (e.g., fatigue, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, pale skin)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergy: Before starting treatment with cefixime, make sure you tell your doctor about any adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially cefixime, cephalosporins, and penicillins. Some people who are allergic to penicillin may also be allergic to cephalosporins such as cefixime. If you have an allergic reaction, contact your doctor.
Antibiotic-associated colitis: This medication, like other antibiotics, may cause a potentially dangerous condition called antibiotic-associated colitis (or pseudomembranous colitis). Symptoms include severe, watery diarrhea that may be bloody. If you notice these symptoms, stop taking cefixime and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Bacterial resistance: Misuse of an antibiotic such as cefixime may lead to the growth of resistant bacteria that will not be killed by the antibiotic. If this happens, the antibiotic may not work for you in the future. Although you may begin to feel better early in your treatment with cefixime, you need to take all the medication exactly as directed by your doctor to finish ridding your body of the infection and to prevent resistant bacteria from taking hold. Do not take cefixime or other antibiotics to treat a viral infection such as the common cold; antibiotics do not kill viruses, and using them to treat viral infections can lead to the growth of resistant bacteria.
Hemolytic anemia: Rarely, cefixime causes a condition where red blood cells are destroyed before the end of the cells' normal lifespan. This condition is called hemolytic anemia, which can cause severe health complications. People who have had hemolytic anemia before may be more likely to experience hemolytic anemia caused by cefixime. If you notice symptoms of hemolytic anemia such as unusual fatigue, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, or pale skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. Cefixime may also cause decreased kidney function and, in rare instances, kidney failure. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Overgrowth of organisms: Prolonged or repeated use of cefixime may result in an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi and organisms that are not killed by the medication. This can cause other infections, such as yeast infections, to develop.
Seizures: This medication, like other cephalosporins, may contribute to seizures. This appears to be more likely when kidney function is reduced, causing increased amounts of cefixime to build up in the body. If you have a history of seizure disorders or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: It is not known if cefixime is safe for use during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if cefixime passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 6 months old.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between cefixime and any of the following:
- aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g., amikacin, gentamicin, tobramycin)
- bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine
- cholera vaccine
- sodium picosulfate
- typhoid vaccine
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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