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All about: Omnicef

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Generic name: Cefdinir
Brand names: Omnicef

Why is Omnicef prescribed?

Omnicef is a member of the family of antibiotics known as cephalosporins. It is used to treat mild to moderate infections, including:

Acute flare-ups of chronic bronchitis
Middle ear infections (otitis media)
Throat and tonsil infections (pharyngitis/tonsillitis)
Pneumonia
Sinus infections
Skin infections

Most important fact about Omnicef

Omnicef, like other antibiotics, works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To maintain effective blood levels, be sure to take every dose on schedule.

How should you take Omnicef?

Omnicef is available in capsules (for individuals aged 13 years and up) and an oral suspension (for children aged 6 months to 12 years). Shake the oral suspension thoroughly before each use. The drug can be taken with or without food.

Be sure to finish your entire prescription, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking the drug too soon, some germs may survive and cause a relapse.

If you use antacids, iron supplements, or multivitamins containing iron, allow at least 2 hours between a dose of these products and a dose of Omnicef. Antacids and iron tend to reduce the amount of Omnicef in the bloodstream. It's okay, however, to combine iron-fortified infant formula with Omnicef suspension.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Both the capsules and the oral suspension can be stored at room temperature. The suspension will keep for 10 days, after which any unused portion must be thrown away.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Omnicef.

CAPSULES

  • More common side effects may include:
    Diarrhea, nausea, vaginal infection

SUSPENSION

  • More common side effects may include:
    Diarrhea, rash

Why should Omnicef not be prescribed?

If you've ever had an allergic reaction to a cephalosporin antibiotic, you should not take Omnicef. Note, too, that if you are allergic to penicillin, you may also be allergic to cephalosporins. The reaction can be extremely severe. Be sure to let the doctor know about any allergies you may have.

Special warnings about Omnicef

Use Omnicef with caution if you suffer from colitis (inflammation of the bowel). Omnicef has been known to cause colitis. If you develop symptoms such as diarrhea while taking Omnicef, notify your doctor.

The use of an antibiotic to kill one type of germ can sometimes promote the growth of other germs that are resistant to the drug. If a new infection (called a superinfection) occurs, alert your doctor. You may need to take a different antibiotic.

If you suffer from seizures, use Omnicef with caution. If you have a seizure while using Omnicef, stop taking it and call your doctor immediately.

Omnicef suspension contains 2.86 grams of sugar per teaspoonful. If a child is diabetic, this could cause an increase in blood sugar levels.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Omnicef

If Omnicef is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Omnicef with the following:

Antacids such as Maalox and Mylanta
Iron supplements
Multivitamins containing iron
Probenecid (Benemid)

The combination of iron and Omnicef sometimes turns the stool red. This is not a cause for concern.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Omnicef during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant, inform your doctor. Omnicef does not appear in breast milk.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

For adults and adolescents 13 years and over, the maximum daily dose is 600 milligrams, regardless of the infection under treatment.

Flare-ups of Chronic Bronchitis

300 milligrams every 12 hours for 5 to 10 days or 600 milligrams once a day for 10 days.

Throat and Tonsil Infections

300 milligrams every 12 hours for 5 to 10 days or 600 milligrams once a day for 10 days.

Pneumonia

300 milligrams every 12 hours for 10 days.

Sinus Infections

300 milligrams every 12 hours or 600 milligrams once a day for 10 days.

Skin Infections

300 milligrams every 12 hours for 10 days.

CHILDREN

For children 6 months through 12 years old, the dose of Omnicef Suspension is based on body weight. The suspension contains 125 milligrams per teaspoonful. Dosage should never exceed 600 milligrams daily.

Middle Ear Infections

7 milligrams per 2.2 pounds every 12 hours for 5 to 10 days or 14 milligrams per 2.2 pounds once a day for 10 days.

Throat and Tonsil Infections

7 milligrams per 2.2 pounds every 12 hours for 5 to 10 days or 14 milligrams per 2.2 pounds once a day for 10 days.

Sinus Infections

7 milligrams per 2.2 pounds every 12 hours or 14 milligrams per 2.2 pounds once a day for 10 days.

Skin Infections

7 milligrams per 2.2 pounds every 12 hours for 10 days.

If you have kidney problems, your doctor will lower the dosage.

Overdosage

The effects of an Omnicef overdose are unknown, but overdoses of similar antibiotics produce abdominal pain, convulsions, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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