Cefuroxime | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

cefuroxime, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Ceftin
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for cefuroxime

Oral tablet
1

Cefuroxime is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. These infections include pharyngitis, otitis media, sinusitis, and bronchitis.

2

Cefuroxime comes as a tablet and a liquid suspension. You take the tablet or suspension by mouth.

3

Both the tablet and suspension are available as the brand-name drug Ceftin. They’re also available as generic drugs.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Allergy to medications similar to cefuroxime

If you’re allergic to medications that are similar to cefuroxime, you should not take cefuroxime. An allergic reaction can be serious, and in some cases it can be fatal (cause death). Talk with your doctor to find out if you’re at risk of an allergic reaction.

Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea

Use of high doses of cefuroxime, or use of this drug for longer than 14 days, can lead to diarrhea. This diarrhea is caused by the organism Clostridium difficile. Most often, the diarrhea is mild to moderate. In rare cases, it can lead to fatal inflammation of the colon (large intestine).

Phenylketonuria

The oral suspension form of cefuroxime contains phenylalanine. This is an amino acid that occurs naturally in many foods, such as eggs and meat. You should avoid this medication if you have phenylketonuria. With this condition, the body can’t break down phenylalanine.

What is cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime is a prescription drug. It comes as a tablet or a liquid suspension. Both forms are taken by mouth.

The tablet and suspension are both available as the brand-name drug Ceftin. They’re also available in generic forms. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Why it's used

Cefuroxime is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria. These include pharyngitis, otitis media, sinusitis, and bronchitis. They also include urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, Lyme disease, and impetigo.

How it works

Cefuroxime belongs to a class of drugs called cephalosporins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Cefuroxime belongs to a class of drugs called cephalosporins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Cefuroxime works by interfering with the forming of the bacteria’s cell walls. This causes the cell walls to rupture (break). This results in the death of the bacteria.

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SECTION 2 of 4

cefuroxime Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of cefuroxime include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • Jarisch/Herxheimer reaction. This is a short-term reaction seen after antibiotic treatment for certain diseases. Symptoms can include fever, chills, or muscle pain.

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following: 

  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:

    • hives
    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Cefuroxime doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

cefuroxime May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Cefuroxime can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Oral contraceptives

When taken with cefuroxime, oral contraceptives (birth control pills) may not be absorbed well by the body. This means they may not work as well. Your doctor may suggest that you use a different birth control method during your treatment with cefuroxime. Examples of these drugs include: 

  • drospirenone/ethyinyl estradiol
  • levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol
  • norethindrone acetate/ethinyl estradiol
  • desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol
  • norgestrel/ethinyl estradiol

Stomach acid drugs

When taken with certain drugs that reduce stomach acid, cefuroxime may not be absorbed well by the body. This means it may not work as well. Examples of these drugs include: 

  • antacids, such as:
    • calcium carbonate
    • magnesium hydroxide
    • aluminum hydroxide
  • H2-antagonists, such as:
    • famotidine
    • cimetidine
    • ranitidine
  • proton pump inhibitors, such as:
    • lansoprazole
    • omeprazole
    • pantoprazole

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

Other drugs

Probenecid is used to treat several conditions, including gout and kidney stones. Taking probenecid with cefuroxime increases the amount of cefuroxime in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor will likely monitor you for side effects of cefuroxime if you take these drugs together.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Cefuroxime warnings
kidney problems
People with kidney problems

Cefuroxime is removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys don’t work well, high levels of cefuroxime may build up in your body. To prevent this, your doctor may prescribe cefuroxime to be taken less often than normal.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Cefuroxime is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things: 

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Cefuroxime passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Tell your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

seniors
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

children
For children

Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Allergies
Allergies

Cefuroxime can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • hives
  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. 

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take cefuroxime (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Pharyngitis/tonsillitis (mild to moderate)

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Oral tablets
  • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age. 
Oral suspension
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): Dosage information is not provided for this age range. The suspension is not typically prescribed for children ages 13–17 years. 
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years): The typical dosage is 20 mg/kg/day. The total daily amount should be divided into two equal doses taken at different times each day for 10 days. The maximum daily dosage is 500 mg. 
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Acute otitis media

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Oral tablets
  • Child dosage (ages 14–17 years): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–13 years who can swallow tablets whole): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Oral suspension
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): Dosage information is not provided for this age range. The suspension is not typically prescribed for children ages 13–17 years.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years): The typical dosage is 30 mg/kg given twice daily in equally divided doses for 10 days. The maximum daily dose is 1,000 mg.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Acute sinusitis (mild to moderate)

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Oral tablets
  • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years of age): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Oral suspension
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): Dosage information is not provided for this age range. The suspension is not typically prescribed for children ages 13–17 years.
  • Child dosage (3 months–12 years): The typical dosage is 30 mg/kg given twice daily in equally divided doses for 10 days.  The maximum daily dose is 1,000 mg.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Acute bronchitis (mild to moderate)

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Oral tablets
  • Acute bronchitis (mild to moderate):
    • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
    • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years of age): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
    • Child dosage (ages 0–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): This medication should not be used for children younger than 13 years for this condition.
  • Secondary infection of acute bronchitis (mild to moderate):
    • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 5–10 days.
    • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years of age): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 5–10 days.
    • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): The typical dosage is 250 mg twice daily for 10 days.
    • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours. 
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours. 
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Uncomplicated infections of the skin or below the skin

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Oral tablets
  • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years of age): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): The typical dosage is 250 or 500 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Oral tablets
  • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 7–10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years of age): The typical dosage is 250 mg every 12 hours for 7–10 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): No dosage information is available. This condition is not typical in children of this age range.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Uncomplicated gonorrhea

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Oral tablets
  • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 1,000 mg as a single dose. 
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): The typical dosage is 1,000 mg as a single dose.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): No dosage information is available. This condition is not typical in children of this age range. 
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Early Lyme disease

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Oral tablets
  • Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older): The typical dosage is 500 mg every 12 hours for 20 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): The typical dosage is 500 mg every 12 hours for 20 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years who can swallow tablets whole): The typical dosage is 500 mg every 12 hours for 20 days.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Impetigo

Generic: cefuroxime

Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL

Brand: Ceftin

Form: Oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL
Oral suspension
  • Child dosage (ages 13–17 years): Dosage information is not provided for this age range. The suspension is not typically prescribed for children ages 13–17 years.
  • Child dosage (ages 3 months–12 years): The typical dosage is 30 mg/kg given twice daily in equally divided doses for 10 days. The maximum daily dose is 1,000 mg.
  • Child dosage (ages 0–2 months): Cefuroxime should not be used in children younger than 3 months of age.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lower dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Patients with kidney disease: Your dosage of cefuroxime may need to be adjusted if you have a creatinine clearance of less than 30 mL/min. Creatinine clearance is a test that shows how well your kidneys are working. A lower number suggests reduced kidney function. Typical dosage changes for adults are listed below:

  • People with clearance of 10 to <30 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 24 hours.
  • People with clearance of <10 mL/min: The standard dose should be given every 48 hours.
  • People on hemodialysis: A single additional standard dose should be given at the end of each dialysis session.

Warnings

  • Cefuroxime tablets and suspension cannot be interchanged on a milligram-per-milligram basis. (This means you can’t substitute equal doses of one for the other.)
  • Children who can’t swallow cefuroxime tablets should be given the suspension instead. Don’t give them a crushed tablet. The tablet has a strong, long-lasting bitter taste when crushed.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Cefuroxime should only be used to treat bacterial infections. It should not be used for viruses such as the common cold.

Cefuroxime comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your infection may continue or get worse.  

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include sudden, irregular movements of any limb or part of the body.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should notice a decrease in your symptoms. Your infection should heal.

Cefuroxime is used for short-term treatment.

Cefuroxime tablets may be taken with or without food

The oral suspension should be taken with food. This may help to reduce upset stomach.

Store this drug carefully

  • Tablets:
    • Store cefuroxime tablets at a temperature between 59ºF and 86ºF (15ºC and 30ºC).
    • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Suspension:
    • Before mixing the dry powder, store it at a temperature between 36ºF and 86ºF (2ºC and 30ºC). After mixing, store the suspension in the refrigerator right away at a temperature between 36ºF and 46ºF (2ºC and 8ºC). Throw away any unused mixed suspension after 10 days.
    • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do blood tests to check your kidney function before prescribing cefuroxime and during your treatment with this drug. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may recommend that you take cefuroxime less often.

Hidden costs

You may need to have blood tests during your treatment with cefuroxime. The cost of these tests will depend on your insurance coverage.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

What does the pill look like?

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on December 2, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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