Cefotaxime

Cefotaxime is a medication used to treat bacterial infections. Cefotaxime is a cephalosporin antibiotic.

Cefotaxime Overview

Reviewed: July 18, 2013
Updated: 

Cefotaxime is a prescription medication used to treat bacterial infections, including lung, skin, joint, bone, urinary tract, and gynecological infections. Cefotaxime belongs to a group of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics, which work to stop the growth of bacteria in the body.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) or muscle (IM) by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects of cefotaxime include irritation at the site of injection, rash, itching, diarrhea, and nausea.

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What are you taking Cefotaxime for?

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  • Other
  • Acinetobacter Infections
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious
  • Escherichia Coli Infections
  • Gonorrhea
  • Haemophilus Infections
  • Klebsiella Infections
  • Meningitis, Bacterial
  • Peritonitis
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial
  • Proteus Infections
  • Salmonella Infections
  • Sepsis
  • Serratia Infections
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial
  • Soft Tissue Infections
  • Staphylococcal Infections
  • Streptococcal Infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Cefotaxime Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Cefotaxime

Cefotaxime is a prescription medication used to treat bacterial infections, including lung, skin, joint, bone, urinary tract, and gynecological infections.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Cefotaxime Brand Names

Cefotaxime may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Cefotaxime Drug Class

Cefotaxime is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Cefotaxime

Common side effects of cefotaxime include:

  • irritation at the site of injection
  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • itching
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever

This is not a complete list of cefotaxime side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Serious side effects have been reported with cefotaxime. See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Cefotaxime Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • aminoglycosides such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), and tobramycin (Nebcin)
  • probenecid (Probalan, Benemid)
  • methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex)
  • birth control pills

This is not a complete list of cefotaxime drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Cefotaxime Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with cefotaxime including the following:

  • hypersensitivity (severe allergic reaction). Signs of a hypersensitivity reaction, which include the following:
    • chest pain
    • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • fainting
    • rash
  • diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics, and it usually ends when the antibacterial is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as 2 or more months after having taken their last dose of the antibacterial. If diarrhea is severe or lasts more than 2 or 3 days, contact your doctor, as this may be a sign of an infection of the bowels.
  • superinfection. Cefotaxime should not be used for extended periods. Prolonged use can lead to the growth of dangerous organisms that are resistant or unresponsive to this medication. Take Maxipime for the duration prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take cefotaxime if you:

  • are allergic to cefotaxime or to any of its ingredients
  • are allergic to similar antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins)

Cefotaxime Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of cefotaxime, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking cefotaxime, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to cefotaxime or to any of its ingredients
  • are allergic to similar antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins)
  • have any other type of allergy
  • have gastrointestinal (stomach and bowel) problems, especially colitis
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Cefotaxime and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Cefotaxime falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with cefotaxime. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

Cefotaxime and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Cefotaxime has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from cefotaxime, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of cefotaxime. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Cefotaxime Usage

Take cefotaxime exactly as prescribed.

This medication is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) or muscle (IM) by a healthcare professional.

If you miss a dose, be sure to make a follow up appointment.

Cefotaxime Dosage

Take cefotaxime exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The cefotaxime dose your doctor recommends will be based on (use any or all that apply):

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your kidney function
  • your weight
  • your age

The recommended dose range for cefotaxime in adults is 0.5 grams once a day to 12 grams divided into multiple doses per day.

The recommended dose range for cefotaxime in children includes the following.

  • 0 to 1 week of age – 50 mg/kg per dose every 12 hours IV
  • 1 to 4 weeks of age – 50 mg/kg per dose every 8 hours IV
  • If 1 month to 12 years old:
    • Less than 50 kg – 50 to 180 mg/kg IM or IV divided into four to six equal doses
    • Greater than or equal to 50 kg – use the usual adult dose (max dose of 12 grams)

Cefotaxime Overdose

If cefotaxime is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.