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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Cefuroxime (Systemic)

Brand Names

In the U.S.-

  • Zinacef

In Canada-

  • Zinacef


  • Antibacterial


Cefuroxime ( sef-yoor-OX-eem) is used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Injection (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For cefuroxime, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cefuroxime. Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to any of the cephalosporins, cephamycins, penicillins, penicillin-like medicines, or penicillamine. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Cefuroxime has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have not shown that cefuroxime causes problems. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding- Cefuroxime passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children- This medicine has been tested in children and, in effective doses, has not shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.

Older adults- This medicine has been tested in the elderly and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking cefuroxime, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics such asAmikacin (e.g., Amikin) orGentamicin (e.g., Apogen) orNeomycin (e.g., Mycifradin)- may result in increased chance of serious side effects
  • Diuretics, potent such asFurosemide (e.g., Lasix)- may cause higher blood levels of cefuroxime and result in increased side effects
  • Probenecid (e.g., Benemid)-will cause higher blood levels of cefuroxime; sometimes your doctor may wish you to take these two drug together to increase the effects of cefuroxime.

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of cefuroxime. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Colitis, history of or
  • Gastrointestinal disease, history of- cefuroxime may make these worse
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease or
  • Poor nutritional status-these may be worsened by cefuroxime and you may need to have vitamin K
  • Kidney problems, temporary or permanent- these may effect how much cefuroxime is in your body, reducing your dose might be needed.

Proper Use of This Medicine


The dose of cefuroxime will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of cefuroxime. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount that you use depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking cefuroxime

  • For injection dosage form
      • Adults and teenagers-750 mg to 3 grams every six to eight hours usually for 5 to 14 days, injected into a muscle or vein. Gonorrhea is treated with a single dose of 1.5 grams, injected into a muscle; the total 1.5-gram dose is divided into two doses and injected into muscles at two separate places on the body, and given along with a single, oral 1-gram dose of probenecid.
      • Infants and children 1 month of age and older-12.5 to 150 mg per kg (5.68 to 68 mg per pound) of body weight every six to eight hours, injected into a muscle or vein.
      • Newborns-30 to 100 mg per kg (13.6 to 45.5 mg per pound) of body weight every eight to twelve hours, injected into a vein.

Missed dose-

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Consult your health care professional about how to store this medicine
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • More common
    • Black, tarry stools;  chest pain;  chills;  cough;  fever;  painful or difficult urination;  shortness of breath;  sore throat;  sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth;  swollen glands;  unusual bleeding or bruising;  unusual tiredness or weakness 

  • Less common
    • Abdominal or stomach cramps;  abdominal or stomach tenderness or pain;  bloating;  bluish color or changes in skin color;  diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody;  difficulty in breathing or swallowing, wheezing, shortness of breath;  fast heartbeat;  fever;  hives or welts;  increased thirst;  muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities;  nausea or vomiting;  pain;  skin itching, rash, or redness;  sudden loss of consciousness ;  swelling of face, throat, or tongue;  swelling of foot or leg;  tenderness ;  unusual weight loss 

  • Rare
    • Blistering, peeling, loosening of skin;  bloody or cloudy urine;  dizziness;  fast heartbeat;  greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine;  hearing loss, mild to moderate ;  joint or muscle pain;  puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue ;  red or irritated eyes;  redness, tenderness, itching, burning, or peeling of skin;  red skin lesions, often with a purple center;  sore throat;  tightness in chest 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

  • More common
    • Gas;  loss of appetite 

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT