Why is this medication prescribed?
Cefaclor is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract (lung) infections; and infections of the skin, ears, throat, tonsils, and urinary tract. Cefaclor is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Antibiotics such as cefaclor will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
How should this medicine be used?
Cefaclor comes as a capsule, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. The capsule and liquid are usually taken with or without food every 8 or 12 hours . The long-acting tablet is usually taken within 1 hour of eating a meal every 12 hours (twice a day) for 7 to 10 days . Take cefaclor at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take cefaclor exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Swallow the long-acting tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with cefaclor. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.
Take cefaclor until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking cefaclor too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cefaclor,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cefaclor, other cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefadroxil , cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefdinir , cefditoren (Spectracef), cefepime (Maxipime), cefixime (Suprax), cefotaxime (Claforan), cefotetan, cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime , cefprozil (Cefzil), ceftaroline (Teflaro), ceftazidime ( Fortaz, Tazicef, in Avycaz), ceftibuten (Cedax), ceftriaxone (Rocephin), cefuroxime (Ceftin, Kefurox, Zinacef), and cephalexin (Keflex); penicillin antibiotics; or any other medications. Also tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in cefaclor capsules, extended release tablets, or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention either of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), and probenecid (Probalan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any kind of allergies, gastrointestinal disease (GI; affecting the stomach or intestines), especially colitis (condition that causes swelling in the lining of the colon [large intestine]), or kidney disease.
- if you are taking antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum, take them 1 hour before or 1 hour after cefaclor extended release tablets.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking cefaclor, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cefaclor may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- genital itching
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- itching, prickling, burning, or stinging feeling on the skin
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, arms or legs
- lack of energy, or feeling faint
- joint pain
- watery or bloody stools, stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
Cefaclor may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the capsules and tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). The tablets should also be stored away from light. Keep liquid medicine in the refrigerator, tightly closed, and dispose of any unused medication after 14 days.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- stomach pain
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to cefaclor.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking cefaclor.
If you are diabetic and test your urine for sugar, use Clinistix or TesTape (not Clinitest) to test your urine while taking this medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.