Cefuroxime is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as bronchitis; gonorrhea; Lyme disease; and infections of the ears, throat, sinuses, urinary tract, and skin. Cefuroxime is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
Cefuroxime comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 12 hours (twice a day) for 7-10 days. To treat gonorrhea, cefuroxime is taken as a single dose, and to treat Lyme disease, cefuroxime is taken twice a day for 20 days. The tablet may be taken with or without food, and the liquid must be taken with food. To help you remember to take cefuroxime, take it around the same time 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 cefuroxime exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
The tablets should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water. Because the crushed tablet has a strong bitter taste, the tablet should not be crushed. Children who cannot swallow the tablet whole should take the liquid instead.
Take cefuroxime until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. Stopping cefuroxime too soon may cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking cefuroxime,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cefuroxime, penicillin, cefaclor (Ceclor), cefadroxil (Duricef), cefamandole (Mandol), cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefdinir (Omnicef), cefditoren (Spectracef), cefepime (Maxipime), cefixime (Suprax), cefmetazole (Zefazone), cefonicid (Monocid), cefoperazone (Cefobid), cefotaxime (Claforan), cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefprozil (Cefzil), ceftazidime (Ceptaz, Fortaz, Tazicef), ceftibuten (Cedax), ceftizoxime (Cefizox), ceftriaxone (Rocephin), cephalexin (Keflex), cephapirin (Cefadyl), cephradine (Velosef), loracarbef (Lorabid), or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), diuretics ('water pills'), medications for heartburn or ulcers, other antibiotics, and probenecid (Benemid). 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 kidney or liver disease, colitis, or stomach problems.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking cefuroxime, call your doctor.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
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.
Cefuroxime may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- stomach pain
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe skin rash
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- diaper rash
- painful sores in the mouth or throat
- vaginal itching and discharge
Cefuroxime 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 [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Keep liquid medicine at room temperature or in the refrigerator, tightly closed, and throw away any unused medication after 10 days. Do not freeze. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
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:
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to cefuroxime.
If you are diabetic, use Clinistix or TesTape (not Clinitest) to test your urine for sugar while taking this medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the cefuroxime, call your doctor.
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.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Last Reviewed: October 1, 2010.