Cephalosporin (Cefaclor) Antibiotics for Bacterial infections

  • Prescribed for: Bacterial infections
  • Generic Name: Cefaclor, Cefadroxil

General Information of Cephalosporin (Cefaclor)

These antibiotics are all related to Cephalosporin A, which was isolated from a micro-organism discovered in the sea near Sardinia in 1948. Over: the years, researchers have manipulated the Cephalosporin A molecule, which is similar to Penicillin, to produce more than 20 different antibiotic drugs. The cephalosporin antibiotics included in The Pill Book can be taken orally as a liquid, tablet, or capsule. Injectable cephalosporins are not included.

Cautions and Warnings

A small number of people (about 5 percent) with an allergy to Penicillin may also be allergic to cephalosporin. Be sure your doctor knows about any Penicillin allergies. The most common allergic reaction to a cephalosporin is a hivelike condition with redness over large areas of the body. Other sensitivity reactions to cephalosporin antibiotics can include skin rashes or other reactions, fever, or joint aches or pains. When this happens, the reactions generally occur after a few days of taking the antibiotic and resolve within a few days after the antibiotic is stopped.

Prolonged or repeated use of a cephalosporin antibiotic can lead to the overgrowth of a fungus or bacteria that are not susceptible to the antibiotic, causing a secondary infection.

Occasionally, people taking a cephalosporin may develop drug-related colitis. Call your doctor if you develop diarrhea while taking one of these medicines.

People with kidney disease who receive high doses of a cephalosporin antibiotic may develop seizure in rare instances. Call your doctor if this happens.

The dosage of some cephalosporins must be adjusted for people with poor kidney function.

Possible Side Effects of Cephalosporin (Cefaclor)

Most cephalosporin side effects are quite mild.

  • Most common: abdominal pains and gas, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itching, and rashes.
  • Less common: headache, dizziness, tiredness, tingling in the hands or feet, seizures, confusion, drug allergy, fever, joint pains, chest tightness, redness, muscle aches and swelling, loss of appetite, and changes in taste perception. Colitis may develop during treatment because of changes in the normal micro-organisms found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Cefaclor may cause serum sickness (a combination of fever, joint pains, and rash).

Cephalosporins may cause changes-in some blood cells, but this problem is not generally seen with those drugs that can be taken orally. Some cephalosporins have caused kidney problems, liver inflammation, and jaundice, but these are also rarely a problem with oral cephalosporins.

Drug Interactions

  • The cephalosporins should not be taken with Erythromycin or Tetracycline, because of conflicting antibacterial action.
  • Some cephalosporin antibiotics may increase the blood-thinning effects of anticoagulant drugs,
  • Probenecid may increase blood levels of the cephalosporins by preventing their elimination through the kidneys,
  • Cephalosporins may cause a false-positive test for sugar in the urine with Clinitest tablets or similar products. Enzyme-based tests like Tes-Tape and Clinistix are not affected.
  • Cefuroxime may cause a false-positive test for blood sugar.

Food Interactions

Generally, the cephalosporins may be taken with food or milk if they upset your stomach.

Food interferes with the absorption of Cephalexin and Cefaclor into the blood. They should be taken on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

Cefpodoxime and Cefuroxime should be taken with food to increase the amount of drug absorbed into the blood.

Cefadroxil, Cefixime, Cefprozil, Cephradine, and Loracarbef may be taken without regard to food or meals.

Usual Dose of Cephalosporin (Cefaclor)

Cefaclor

  • Adult: 250 to 500 mg every 8 hours.
  • Child: 3 to 6 mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours.

Cefadroxil

  • Adult: 1 to 2 grams per day in 1 or 2 doses.
  • Child: 13 mg per pound of body weight per day in 1 or 2 doses.

Cefixime

  • Adult: 4Q0 mg per day in 1 or 2 doses.
  • Child: 3.5 mg per pound of body weight per day in 1 or 2 doses.

Cefpodoxime Proxetil

  • Adult: 200 to 400 mg per day in 1 or 2 doses.
  • Child (age 6 months to 12 years): 2.5 to 5 mg per pound of body weight up to 400 mg per day.

Cefprozil

  • Adult: 250 to 1000 mg per day.
  • Child (age 6 months to 12 years): 13 mg per pound of body weight every 12 hours.

Ceftibuten

  • Adult: 400 mg once a day.
  • Child: 4 mg per pound of body weight once a day, up to 400 mg.

Cefuroxime

  • Adult and Child (age 12 and older): 125 to 500 mg every 12 hours.
  • Child and Infant (under age 12): 125 to 250 mg every 12 hours.

Cephalexin

  • Adult: 250 to 1000 mg every 6 hours. Some urinary infections may be treated with 500 mg every 12 hours.
  • Child: 11 to 23 mg per pound of body weight per day. The dose may be increased to 46 mg per pound of body weight to treat middle-ear infections.

Cephradine

  • Adult: 250 to 500 mg every 6 to 12 hours.
  • Child (9 months and older): 11 to 45 mg per pound of body weight per day in 2 or 4 doses.

Loracarbef

  • Adult and Child (age 13 and older): 200 to 400 mg every 12 hours.
  • Child (age 6 months to 12 years): 6.5 to 13 mg per pound of body weight per day.

Overdosage

The most common symptoms of a cephalosporin overdose are nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. These symptoms can be treated with milk or an antacid. Cephalosporin overdoses are generally not serious, but you may want to contact a hospital emergency room or local poison control center for more information.

Special Information

Proper diagnosis is key to the effective use of any antibiotic. Don’t take any of these medicines without first consulting your doctor. The cephalosporins, like all antibiotics, will make you feel better within 2 or 3 days. However, to obtain the maximum benefit from any antibiotic, you must take the full prescribed dose for 7 to 14 days.

If you miss a dose of a cephalosporin that you take once a day and it is almost time for your next dose, take the dose you forgot right away and your next one 10 to 12 hours later. Then go back to your regular schedule.

If you take the medicine 2 times a day, take the dose you forgot right away and the next dose 5 to 6 hours later. Then go back to your regular schedule.

If you take the medicine 3 or more times a day, take the dose you missed right away and your next dose 2 to 4 hours later. Then go back to your regular schedule.

Most cephalosporin liquids must be kept in the refrigerator to maintain their strength. Only Cefixime liquid does not require refrigeration. All of the liquid cephalosporins have a very limited shelf life. Do not keep any of these liquids beyond the 10 days to 2 weeks specified on the label. Check with your pharmacist if you’re not sure about how long you can keep the antibiotic.

The cephalosporins may interfere with the Clinitest tablets used to test for sugar in the urine. They do not interfere with enzyme-based tests like Tes-Tape and Clinistix.

Special Populations

Pregnancy/Breast-feeding
These drugs are considered to be relatively safe during pregnancy. However, they should be taken only if the potential benefit outweighs any harm they could cause.
Small amounts of cephalosporin antibiotic pass into breast milk. Nursing mothers who must take a cephalosporin antibiotic should bottle-feed their babies to avoid possible problems.

Seniors
Seniors with reduced kidney function should be regularly monitored for possible antibiotic side effects. Otherwise, seniors may take oral cephalosporin antibiotics without special restriction. Be sure to report any unusual side effects to your doctor.