Cefotaxime

Reviewed on 11/5/2021

What Is Cefotaxime and How Does It Work?

Cefotaxime is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of Gonococcal Urethritis/Cervicitis, Gonorrhea, Rectal, Infections Caused by Susceptible Organisms, and prophylaxis of surgical infection.  

  • Cefotaxime is available under the following different brand names: Claforan

What Are Dosages of Cefotaxime?

Dosages of Cefotaxime:

Adult and Pediatric dosage

Injectable solution

  • 20mg/mL
  • 40mg/mL

Powder for injection

  • 500mg
  • 1g
  • 2g
  • 10g

Gonococcal Urethritis/Cervicitis

  • 0.5g IM once

Gonorrhea, Rectal

  • Men: 1 g IM once
  • Women: 0.5 g IM once

Infections Caused by Susceptible Organisms

Adults

  • Uncomplicated: 1 g IV or IM every 12 hours
  • Moderate to severe: 1-2 g IV or IM every 8 hours
  • More serious (bloodstream infection [septicemia]): 2 g IV every 6-8 hours
  • Life-threatening: 2 g IV every 4 hours; not to exceed 12 g/day

Pediatric

  • Children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 50 kg: 50-200 mg/kg/day via IV or IM divided every 6-8 hours
  • Children older than 12 years or weighing more than 50 kg: 1-2 g via IV or IM every 8 hours

Preparation for Surgery

  • Prophylaxis of surgical infection
  • 1 g IM/IV once 30-90 minutes before the start of the procedure

Epiglottitis

Pediatric 

  • Children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 50 kg: 150-200 mg/kg/day via IV or IM divided every 6 hours plus clindamycin for 7-10 days  
  • Children older than 12 years or weighing more than 50 kg: 1-2 g via IV or IM every 8 hours

Meningitis

Pediatric

  • Children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 50 kg: 200 mg/kg/day via IV or IM divided every 6 hours  
  • Children older than 12 years of age or weighing more than 50 kg: 2 g IV every 4-6 hours in combination with other antimicrobial therapy as necessary

Pneumonia

Pediatric

  • Children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 50 kg: 200 mg/kg/day IV divided every 8 hours  
  • Children older than 12 years or weighing more than 50 kg: 1-2 g via IV or IM every 8 hours

Sepsis

Pediatric

  • Children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 50 kg: 150 mg/kg/day IV divided every 8 hours  
  • Children older than 12 years or weighing more than 50 kg: 2 g IV every 6-8 hours

Typhoid Fever

Pediatric

  • Children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 50 kg: 150-200 mg/kg/day via IV or IM divided every 6-8 hours; not to exceed 12 g/day  
  • Fluoroquinolone resistant: 80 mg/kg/day via IV or IM divided every 6-8 hours; not to exceed 12 g/day
  • Children older than 12 years or weighing more than 50 kg: 1-2 g via IV or IM every 4-8 hours

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”.

SLIDESHOW

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What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cefotaxime?

Common side effects of Cefotaxime include:

  • pain, bruising, swelling, or other irritation at the injection site, 
  • diarrhea, 
  • fever, 
  • rash, and
  • itching

Serious side effects of Cefotaxime include:

  • hives, 
  • difficulty breathing, 
  • swelling in the face or throat, 
  • fever, 
  • sore throat
  • burning in the eyes, 
  • skin pain, 
  • red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling, 
  • severe stomach pain, 
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody (even if it occurs months after the last dose), 
  • burning, irritation, or skin changes at the injection site, 
  • dark urine, 
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), 
  • seizure
  • chills, 
  • tiredness, 
  • easy bruising, 
  • unusual bleeding, 
  • pale skin, and
  • cold hands and feet

Rare side effects of Cefotaxime include:

  • none 
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs interact with Cefotaxime?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.  Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects.  Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drugs interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.  Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist.  Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns.

What are warnings and precautions for Cefotaxime?

Contraindications

  • Documented hypersensitivity to drugs or components.

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cefotaxime?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Cefotaxime?”

Cautions

  • Potentially life-threatening arrhythmia reported in patients receiving rapid bolus injection through the central venous catheter
  • Prolonged treatment has been associated with granulocytopenia (over 10 days)
  • Change infusion sites to minimize inflammation
  • Use with caution in patients with a history of penicillin allergy
  • Use with caution in patients with a history of colitis
  • Bacterial or fungal overgrowth of non-susceptible organisms may occur with prolonged or repeated therapy
  • May need to adjust the dose in renal impairment
  • Cefotaxime may potentiate the nephrotoxic effects of nephrotoxic drugs, including aminoglycosides, NSAIDs, and furosemide

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use may be acceptable during pregnancy.  
  • The drug enters breast milk; use with caution

QUESTION

Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer
References

Medscape. Cefotaxime.
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/claforan-cefotaxime-342506

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