October 10, 2015
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Hypersensitivity Reactions

Before therapy with rocephin is instituted, careful inquiry should be made to determine whether the patient has had previous hypersensitivity reactions to cephalosporins, penicillins and other beta-lactam agentsor other drugs. This product should be given cautiously to penicillin and other beta-lactam agent-sensitive patients. Antibacterial drugs should be administered with caution to any patient who has demonstrated some form of allergy, particularly to drugs. Serious acute hypersensitivity reactions may require the use of subcutaneous epinephrine and other emergency measures.

As with all beta-lactam antibacterial agents, serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity reactions (i.e., anaphylaxis) have been reported. In case of severe hypersensitivity reactions, treatment with ceftriaxone must be discontinued immediately and adequate emergency measures must be initiated.

Interaction With Calcium-Containing Products

Do not use diluents containing calcium, such as Ringer's solution or Hartmann's solution, to reconstitute Rocephin vials or to further dilute a reconstituted vial for IV administration because a precipitate can form. Precipitation of ceftriaxone-calcium can also occur when Rocephin is mixed with calcium-containing solutions in the same IV administration line. Rocephin must not be administered simultaneously with calcium-containing IV solutions, including continuous calcium-containing infusions such as parenteral nutrition via a Y-site. However, in patients other than neonates, Rocephin and calcium-containing solutions may be administered sequentially of one another if the infusion lines are thoroughly flushed between infusions with a compatible fluid. In vitro studies using adult and neonatal plasma from umbilical cord blood demonstrated that neonates have an increased risk of precipitation of ceftriaxone-calcium (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, CONTRAINDICATIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Clostridium Difficile -Associated Diarrhea

Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including Rocephin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

Hemolytic Anemia

An immune mediated hemolytic anemia has been observed in patients receiving cephalosporin class antibacterials including Rocephin. Severe cases of hemolytic anemia, including fatalities, have been reported during treatment in both adults and children. If a patient develops anemia while on ceftriaxone, the diagnosis of a cephalosporin associated anemia should be considered and ceftriaxone stopped until the etiology is determined.


Development of Drug-resistant Bacteria

Prescribing Rocephin in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Prolonged use of Rocephin may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms. Careful observation of the patient is essential. If superinfection occurs during therapy, appropriate measures should be taken.

Patients with Renal or Hepatic Impairment

Ceftriaxone is excreted via both biliary and renal excretion (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Therefore, patients with renal failure normally require no adjustment in dosage when usual doses of Rocephin are administered.

Dosage adjustments should not be necessary in patients with hepatic dysfunction; however, in patients with both hepatic dysfunction and significant renal disease, caution should be exercised and the Rocephin dosage should not exceed 2 gm daily.

Ceftriaxone is not removed by peritoneal- or hemodialysis. In patients undergoing dialysis no additional supplementary dosing is required following the dialysis. In patients with both severe renal and hepatic dysfunction, close clinical monitoring for safety and efficacy is advised.

Effect on Prothrombin Time

Alterations in prothrombin times have occurred in patients treated with Rocephin. Monitor prothrombin time during Rocephin treatment in patients with impaired vitamin K synthesis or low vitamin K stores (eg, chronic hepatic disease and malnutrition). Vitamin K administration (10 mg weekly) may be necessary if the prothrombin time is prolonged before or during therapy.

Concomitant use of ceftriaxone with Vitamin K antagonists may increase the risk of bleeding. Coagulation parameters should be monitored frequently, and the dose of the anticoagulant adjusted accordingly, both during and after treatment with ceftriaxone (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Gallbladder Pseudolithiasis

Ceftriaxone-calcium precipitates in the gallbladder have been observed in patients receiving ROCEPHIN. These precipitates appear on sonography as an echo without acoustical shadowing suggesting sludge or as an echo with acoustical shadowing which may be misinterpreted as gallstones. The probability of such precipitates appears to be greatest in pediatric patients. Patients may be asymptomatic or may develop symptoms of gallbladder disease. The condition appears to be reversible upon discontinuation of ceftriaxone sodium and institution of conservative management. Discontinue ceftriaxone sodium in patients who develop signs and symptoms suggestive of gallbladder disease and/or the sonographic findings described above.

Urolithiasis and Post-Renal Acute Renal Failure

Ceftriaxone-calcium precipitates in the urinary tract have been observed in patients receiving ROCEPHIN and may be detected as sonographic abnormalities. The probability of such precipitates appears to be greatest in pediatric patients. Patients may be asymptomatic or may develop symptoms of urolithiasis, and ureteral obstruction and post-renal acute renal failure. The condition appears to be reversible upon discontinuation of ceftriaxone sodium and institution of appropriate management. Ensure adequate hydration in patients receiving ROCEPHIN. Discontinue ROCEPHIN in patients who develop signs and symptoms suggestive of urolithiasis, oliguria or renal failure and/or the sonographic findings described above.


Cases of pancreatitis, possibly secondary to biliary obstruction, have been reported in patients treated with Rocephin. Most patients presented with risk factors for biliary stasis and biliary sludge (preceding major therapy, severe illness, total parenteral nutrition). A cofactor role of Rocephin-related biliary precipitation cannot be ruled out.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility


Considering the maximum duration of treatment and the class of the compound, carcinogenicity studies with ceftriaxone in animals have not been performed. The maximum duration of animal toxicity studies was 6 months.


Genetic toxicology tests included the Ames test, a micronucleus test and a test for chromosomal aberrations in human lymphocytes cultured in vitro with ceftriaxone. Ceftriaxone showed no potential for mutagenic activity in these studies.

Impairment of Fertility

Ceftriaxone produced no impairment of fertility when given intravenously to rats at daily doses up to 586 mg/kg/day, approximately 20 times the recommended clinical dose of 2 gm/day.


Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category B. Reproductive studies have been performed in mice and rats at doses up to 20 times the usual human dose and have no evidence of embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity or teratogenicity. In primates, no embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was demonstrated at a dose approximately 3 times the human dose.

There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproductive studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Nonteratogenic Effects

In rats, in the Segment I (fertility and general reproduction) and Segment III (perinatal and postnatal) studies with intravenously administered ceftriaxone, no adverse effects were noted on various reproductive parameters during gestation and lactation, including postnatal growth, functional behavior and reproductive ability of the offspring, at doses of 586 mg/kg/day or less.

Nursing Mothers

Low concentrations of ceftriaxone are excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when Rocephin is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of Rocephin in neonates, infants and pediatric patients have been established for the dosages described in the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section. In vitro studies have shown that ceftriaxone, like some other cephalosporins, can displace bilirubin from serum albumin. Rocephin should not be administered to hyperbilirubinemic neonates, especially prematures (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of Rocephin, 32% were 60 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

The pharmacokinetics of ceftriaxone were only minimally altered in geriatric patients compared to healthy adult subjects and dosage adjustments are not necessary for geriatric patients with ceftriaxone dosages up to 2 grams per day provided there is no severe renal and hepatic impairment. (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

Influence On Diagnostic Tests

In patients treated with ROCEPHIN the Coombs' test may become positive. ROCEPHIN, like other antibacterial drugs, may result in positive test results for galactosemia.

Nonenzymatic methods for the glucose determination in urine may give false-positive results. For this reason, urine-glucose determination during therapy with Rocephin should be done enzymatically.

The presence of ceftriaxone may falsely lower estimated blood glucose values obtained with some blood glucose monitoring systems. Please refer to instructions for use for each system. Alternative testing methods should be used if necessary.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/15/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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