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All about: Cefotaxime

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Generic Name: Cefotaxime (sef-oh-TAX-eem)
Brand Name: Claforan

Cefotaxime is used for:

Treating bacterial infections or preventing bacterial infections before, during, or after certain surgeries.

Cefotaxime is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by weakening and rupturing the cell wall, killing the bacteria.

Do NOT use Cefotaxime if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Cefotaxime or any other cephalosporin antibiotic (eg, cephalexin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Cefotaxime :

Some medical conditions may interact with Cefotaxime . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to a penicillin (eg, amoxicillin) or beta-lactam antibiotic (eg, imipenem)
  • if you have stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammation), blood clotting problems, kidney or liver problems, or poor nutrition

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Cefotaxime . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Heparin because the risk of its side effects, including risk of bleeding, may be increased by Cefotaxime
  • Aminoglycosides (eg, gentamicin) because the risk of kidney side effects may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Cefotaxime may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Cefotaxime :

Use Cefotaxime as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cefotaxime is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Cefotaxime at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Cefotaxime . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Cefotaxime if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use Cefotaxime for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Cefotaxime , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Cefotaxime .

Important safety information:

  • Cefotaxime only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use Cefotaxime for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Cefotaxime may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Diabetes patients - Cefotaxime may cause the results of some tests for urine glucose to be wrong. Ask your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Cefotaxime may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using Cefotaxime .
  • Lab tests, including kidney or liver tests or blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Cefotaxime . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Cefotaxime with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Cefotaxime with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 10 years old who have diarrhea or an infection of the stomach or bowel.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Cefotaxime while pregnant. Cefotaxime is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Cefotaxime , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Cefotaxime :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; headache; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody diarrhea/stools; decreased urination; fever; hoarseness; irregular heartbeat; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; red, swollen, or blistered skin; seizures; severe diarrhea; severe nausea or vomiting; stomach pain/cramps; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness; vaginal irritation or discharge; white patches in mouth; yellowing of the eyes and skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include muscle spasms; seizures.

Proper storage of Cefotaxime :

Cefotaxime is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Cefotaxime at home, store Cefotaxime as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Cefotaxime out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Cefotaxime , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cefotaxime is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Cefotaxime . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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