Why is this medication prescribed?
Cefotaxime injection is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria including pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract (lung) infections; gonorrhea (a sexually transmitted disease); meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord) and other brain and spinal cord infections; and abdominal (stomach area), female reproductive organs, skin, blood, bone, joint, and urinary tract infections. Cefotaxime injection may also be used before surgery, and during and after a cesarean section, in order to prevent the patient from getting an infection. Cefotaxime injection is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria.
Antibiotics such as cefotaxime injection 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?
Cefotaxime injection comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle). Cefotaxime injection is also available as a premixed product to be injected intravenously. How often you receive cefotaxime injection and the length of your treatment depends on the type of infection you have and how your body responds to the medication.
You may receive cefotaxime injection in a hospital or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving cefotaxime injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with cefotaxime injection. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.
Use cefotaxime injection until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better.If you stop using cefotaxime injection 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
Cefotaxime injection is also sometimes used to treat typhoid fever (a serious infection that is common in developing countries), salmonella (an infection that causes severe diarrhea) and other types of infectious diarrhea, food poisoning, Lyme disease (an infection that may develop after a person is bitten by a tick), and a certain type of infection from dog bites. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cefotaxime injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cefotaxime, other cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefdinir, cefditoren (Spectracef), cefepime (Maxipime), cefixime (Suprax), cefotetan, cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime, cefprozil, ceftaroline (Teflaro), ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef, in Avycaz), ceftibuten (Cedax), ceftriaxone (Rocephin), cefuroxime (Zinacef), and cephalexin (Keflex); penicillin antibiotics; or any other medications. Also tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in cefotaxime injection. 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 any of the following: amikacin, furosemide (Lasix), gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin (Neo-Fradin), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), probenecid (Probalan), streptomycin, and tobramycin. 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, recent surgery or trauma, diabetes, cancer, heart failure, 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.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking cefotaxime injection, 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?
Use 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 use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cefotaxime injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding near the place where cefotaxime was injected
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms stop taking cefotaxime injection and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- watery or bloody stools, stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
- a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
Cefotaxime injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using 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?
Your healthcare provider will tell you how to store your medication. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand how to store your medication properly.
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.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- encephalopathy (confusion, memory problems, and other difficulties caused by abnormal brain function)
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 cefotaxime injection.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking cefotaxime injection.
If you are diabetic and test your urine for sugar, use Clinistix or TesTape (not Clinitest) to test your urine while taking this medication.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about cefotaxime injection.
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.