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Cefuroxime – Effect, Application & Risks


Cefuroxime is a drug that belongs to the cephalosporins . The beta-lactam antibiotic is used to treat bacterial infections .

What is cefuroxime?

Cefuroxime is a bactericidal beta-lactam antibiotic. It comes from the group of 2nd generation cephalosporins. The drug has a broad spectrum of action and can be used in moderately severe diseases where there is no danger to life.

Cephalosporins have been available to medicine since 1955. They were obtained in pure form from the fungus Cephalosporium acremonium by the physicians Edward Penley Abraham and Guy GF Newton. From the 1960s, numerous derivatives of the cephalosporin with a stronger effect, such as cefuroxime, emerged.

In Germany, cefuroxime is sold under the product name Elobact®. In addition, there are numerous generics .

Pharmacological action

Like the other cephalosporins, cefuroxime is capable of killing bacteria , including fast-growing specimens. The beta-lactam antibiotics are structurally equipped with a special beta-lactam ring that disrupts the formation of the bacterial cell wall. This process ultimately results in the death of the germs . Due to the action of cefuroxime, water flows into the cells of the bacteria, causing them to swell and decay.

Cefuroxime is particularly effective against gram-negative rods. This primarily includes the bacterial genus Haemophilus influenzae . In contrast, pseudomonads and enterococci show resistance to the antibiotic. Cefuroxime has a pronounced stability against beta-lactamases.

Cefuroxime enters the gastrointestinal tract via the oral cavity , from where it is absorbed into the patient’s organism. However, it is also possible to administer the antibiotic by transfusion into a vein . The drug does not degrade. Instead, elimination from the body is rapid via the kidneys .

Medical Application & Use

Cefuroxime is mainly used against infections caused by streptococci , as they are very sensitive to the antibiotic. These are respiratory infections such as chronic bronchitis or pneumonia , inflammation in the mouth and throat region, infections of the ear, nose and throat area such as a cold , sinusitis , middle ear infection or tonsillitis .

Other indications are infections on the skin , urinary tract infections , kidney inflammation , soft tissue infections, joint inflammation , bone infections, Lyme disease , blood poisoning (sepsis) or venereal diseases such as gonorrhea (clap).

Cefuroxime tablets are taken directly after a main meal. It is not recommended to break or chew the tablet in order not to affect the effectiveness of the antibiotic. There is also the option of making a suspension from a dry cefuroxime juice. For this purpose, boiled cold water is mixed into the bottle with the dry juice. Then shake the bottle well. As with the tablets, the suspension is taken after a main meal.

It is important to take cefuroxime regularly so that the concentration of the active substance in the organism remains high. A maximum daily dose of between 250 and 500 milligrams is recommended for adult and adolescent patients. The patient administers the dose every 12 hours. For children from 5 years of age, 125 to 250 milligrams of cefuroxime twice a day are intended.

How long the antibiotic is given depends on what disease the patient has and how severe it is. Under no circumstances should the patient stop the therapy too early, otherwise there is a risk of the disease recurring since not all the bacteria have been killed. This can also lead to bacterial resistance to cefuroxime.

Risks & side effects

With the use of cefuroxime, side effects are a possibility. 1 to 10 percent of all patients suffer from undesirable side effects such as hives , skin rashes and itching . Difficulty breathing , fever and circulatory problems can also occur.

The allergic reactions appear either immediately after the start of treatment or weeks later. The amount of antibiotic does not matter. If an allergy develops , the patient must contact the treating physician and, if necessary, discontinue the therapy.

In up to 10 percent of those affected, dizziness , headaches and fungal infections are also conceivable. Other possible side effects are liver dysfunction, temporary changes in the blood count, loss of appetite , nausea , vomiting , abdominal pain , bile stasis and jaundice .

If treatment with cefuroxime lasts longer, there is a risk of the colon being infected with fungi or resistant bacteria, which is manifested by intestinal inflammation with diarrhea .

Cefuroxime should not be used if the patient is hypersensitive to the active ingredient or another beta-lactam antibiotic. In the case of bronchial asthma or allergies, a medical examination is required, as there is a risk of hypersensitivity. Cefuroxime is not suitable for children under the age of three months.

During pregnancy , the doctor must weigh up the benefit and risk for the patient before use. The same applies to breastfeeding , since cefuroxime can pass to the baby via breast milk , which often causes disturbances in the intestinal flora .

Since there is a risk of interactions, cefuroxime should not be taken together with aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin or gentamicin and diuretic drugs such as torasemide and furosemide . There is a risk of damage to the kidneys.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.