What is the most important information I should know about cefotaxime?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to cefotaxime or another cephalosporin antibiotic (cefdinir, cefalexin, Keflex, Omnicef, and others).
What is cefotaxime?
Cefotaxime is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic.
Cefotaxime is used to treat many kinds of bacterial infections, including severe or life-threatening forms. Cefotaxime is also used to prevent infection in people having certain types of surgery.
Cefotaxime may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using cefotaxime?
You should not use cefotaxime if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any type of cephalosporin antibiotic (cefdinir, cefalexin, Keflex, Omnicef, and others).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- an allergy to penicillin;
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis;
- diabetes; or
- heart problems.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I use cefotaxime?
Cefotaxime is injected into a muscle, or given as an infusion into a vein.
A healthcare provider will give you this injection when cefotaxime is used to prevent infection from surgery.
A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself to treat an infection.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.
Cefotaxime must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. You may need to further dilute the mixed medicine before injecting your dose. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.
Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Cefotaxime will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefotaxime.
Store the unmixed medicine at cool room temperature (not above 77 degrees F).
Mixed medicine must be used within a certain number of hours or days, depending on the type of diluent used in the mixture. Carefully follow all mixing and storage instructions for cefotaxime.
After mixing cefotaxime with a diluent, you may need to store the mixture in a refrigerator and use it within a certain number of days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
If you are receiving this medicine at a clinic, call your doctor if you miss an appointment for your injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include weakness, cold feeling, pale skin, blue lips, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while using cefotaxime?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
What are the possible side effects of cefotaxime?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody (even if it occurs months after your last dose);
- burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
- dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- a seizure;
- fever, chills, tiredness; or
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet.
Common side effects may include:
- pain, bruising, swelling, or other irritation where the injection was given;
- fever; or
- rash, itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect cefotaxime?
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- another injected antibiotic; or
- a diuretic or "water pill."
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect cefotaxime, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about cefotaxime.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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