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What is this medication?

Cefuroxime, Ceftin/Zinacef
Antibiotic; Second Generation Cephalosporin

Cefuroxime is used on and off label for various infections depending on your common local bacterial strains for various infections and based on local resistance patterns.  Not all antibiotics work for all infections and efficacy can vary from area to area and vary with time.  It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic and is common in North America for many kinds of infections.

How does this medication work? 

Cefuroxime, Ceftin/Zinacef prevents bacteria from properly building cell wall via the penicillin binding proteins (PBPs) eventually resulting in cell lysis (cell break down) as it cannot repair itself.  

How should I take this medication? 

Average of 250-500 every 12 hours but can vary greatly depending on intended use and severity of infection

How to Take Cefuroxime, Ceftin/Zinacef: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, swallow whole (severe bitter taste if crushed), take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature     

You Need to Avoid: There is no direct interaction with alcohol however alcohol can reduce immune function which can be problematic when fighting an infection so alcohol is not normally recommended

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Cefuroxime make sure your physician is aware of any allergies (cephalosporins/penicillins) or medications you currently take, if you have kidney disease, a history of colitis, a seizure disorder, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Diarrhea is the most common side effect; the rates of other side effects are very low.  As this antibiotic is broad spectrum, it is possible to result in opportunistic superinfection including C. difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) and pseudomembranous colitis for up to two hours after treatment.  Report severe or persistent diarrhea to physician.