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All about: Cefzil

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Generic name: Cefprozil
Brand names: Cefzil

Why is Cefzil prescribed?

Cefzil, a cephalosporin antibiotic, is prescribed for mild to moderately severe bacterial infections of the throat, ear, sinuses, respiratory tract, and skin. Among these infections are strep throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Most important fact about Cefzil

If you are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics in any form, consult your doctor before taking Cefzil. An allergy to either type of medication may signal an allergy to Cefzil; and if a reaction occurs, it could be extremely severe. If you take the drug and feel signs of a reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

How should you use Cefzil?

Your doctor will only prescribe Cefzil to treat a bacterial infection; it will not cure a viral infection, such as the common cold. It's important to take the full dosage schedule of Cefzil, even if you're feeling better in a few days. Not completing the full dosage schedule may decrease the drug's effectiveness and increase the chances that the bacteria may become resistant to Cefzil and similar antibiotics.

Cefzil works fastest when taken on an empty stomach, but can be taken with food to avoid stomach upset.

Cefzil oral suspension should be shaken well before using.

--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. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Store Cefzil tablets at room temperature. Keep the oral suspension in the refrigerator; discard any unused portion after 14 days.

What side effects may occur?

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

The most common side effect is nausea.

  • Other side effects may include:
    Abdominal pain, confusion, diaper rash, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, genital itching, headache, hives, hyperactivity, nervousness, rash, sleepiness, superinfection (additional infection), vaginal inflammation, vomiting, yellow eyes and skin

Although not reported for Cefzil, similar antibiotics have been known occasionally to have severe side effects such as anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), skin rash with blisters, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a rare skin condition characterized by severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose, and genitals), and "serum-sickness" (itchy rash, fever, and pain in the joints).

Why should Cefzil not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Cefzil or other cephalosporin antibiotics, do not take Cefzil. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Cefzil

Cefzil occasionally causes colitis (inflammation of the bowel) leading to diarrhea. Some diarrhea medications can make this diarrhea worse. Check with your doctor before taking any diarrhea remedy.

Oral contraceptives may not work properly while you are taking Cefzil. For greater certainty, use other measures while taking Cefzil.

Your doctor will check your kidney function before and during your treatment with Cefzil.

Use Cefzil with caution if you are taking a strong diuretic, or if you have ever had stomach and intestinal disease, particularly colitis.

If new infections (called superinfections) occur, talk to your doctor. You may need to be treated with a different antibiotic.

Cefzil may alter the results of some urine sugar tests for diabetics. Your doctor can advise you of any adjustments you may need to make in your medication or diet.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Cefzil

When Cefzil 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 Cefzil with the following:

Certain other antibiotics such as Amikin
Certain potent diuretics such as Edecrin and Lasix
Oral contraceptives
Probenecid (Benemid)
Propantheline (Pro-Banthine)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Cefzil during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Cefzil does appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Cefzil is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Cefzil is finished.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

Throat and Respiratory Tract Infections

The usual dose is 500 milligrams, taken once or twice a day for 10 days.

Sinus Infection

The usual dose is 250 milligrams every 12 hours for 10 days; for severe infections the dose is 500 milligrams.

Skin Infections

The dosage is usually either 250 milligrams taken 2 times a day, or 500 milligrams taken once or twice a day for 10 days.

CHILDREN 2 TO 12 YEARS OF AGE

Throat Infections and Tonsillitis

The usual dose is 7.5 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight, taken 2 times a day for 10 days.

Skin Infections

The usual dose is 20 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight, taken once a day for 10 days.

INFANTS AND CHILDREN 6 MONTHS TO 12 YEARS OF AGE

Ear Infections

The usual dose is 15 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight, taken 2 times a day for 10 days.

Sinus Infection

The usual dose is 7.5 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight every 12 hours for 10 days. For severe infections, the amount may be doubled.

Overdosage

Although no specific information is available, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Cefzil, seek medical attention immediately.

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