Why is this medication prescribed?
Cefixime is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria such as bronchitis (infection of the airway tubes leading to the lungs); gonorrhea (a sexually transmitted disease); and infections of the ears, throat, tonsils, and urinary tract. Cefixime is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria.
Antibiotics such as cefixime 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?
Cefixime comes as a tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, and suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food every 12 or 24 hours . When used for the treatment of gonorrhea it may be given in a single dose. Take cefixime 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 cefixime 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.
If you are taking the chewable tablets, chew these tablets completely before swallowing; do not swallow the chewable tablets whole. If you have trouble chewing you may crush them before swallowing.
Cefixime tablets come with a line down the middle of the tablet. If your doctor tells you to take half a tablet, break it carefully on the line. Take half the tablet as directed, and save the other half for your next dose.
Different cefixime products are absorbed by the body in different ways and cannot be substituted for one another. If you need to switch from one cefixime product to another, your doctor may need to adjust your dose.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with cefixime. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.
Continue to take cefixime even if you feel better. If you stop taking cefixime 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
Cefixime is also sometimes used to treat sinus infections in penicillin allergic patients, pneumonia, shigella (an infection that causes severe diarrhea), salmonella (an infection that causes severe diarrhea), and typhoid fever (a serious infection that is common in developing countries). 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 cefixime,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cefixime; other cephalosporin antibiotic such as cefaclor (Ceclor), cefadroxil cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefdinir, cefditoren (Spectracef), cefepime (Maxipime), cefotaxime (Claforan), cefotetan, cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime, cefprozil, ceftaroline (Teflaro), ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef, in Avycaz), ceftibuten (Cedax), ceftriaxone (Rocephin), cefuroxime (Zinacef), or cephalexin (Keflex); penicillin antibiotics, or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking, or plant to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), and carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epito, Equetro, Tegretol, Teril). 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 gastrointestinal disease (GI; affecting the stomach or intestines), especially colitis (condition that causes swelling in the lining of the colon [large intestine]), or kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking cefixime, call your doctor.
- if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), you should know that cefixime chewable tablets are sweetened with aspartame that forms phenylalanine.
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?
Cefixime may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, 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
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
- a return of sore throat, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
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 tablets, chewable tablets, and capsules at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Keep liquid medicine at room temperature or in the refrigerator, closed tightly, 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 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.
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 response to cefixime.
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.