Cefepime - Use | Dose | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Cefepime is a drug from the group of medicines called cephalosporins. Cefepime belongs to antibiotics, used in the treatment of infections. Cefepime is a newer cephalosporin of IV generation and works against a wide range of bacteria. Cefepime dosage forms include injection and infusion, and should be administered only by health care team.

Cefepime is used in treatment of the following infections:

  • Respiratory tract infections (pneumonia, bronchitis).
  • Urinary tract infections (complicated and uncomplicated)
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Cefepime is used to treat sepsis
  • Cefepime is used in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Cefepime is also used to treat febrile neutropenia

As we have already noted, Cefepime works against a wide range of Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.


Cefepime should be avoided if you are allergic to Cefepime or other similar medicines such as: cefaclor, cefdinir, cefixime, cefuroxime, cephalexin, cefadroxil, cefazolin, cefpodoxime, cephradine, penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav (Panklav), and others. Symptoms of an allergy include: redness of the skin, skin rash, itching, swelling of the face and tongue, difficulty breathing, anaphylactic shock.

Cefepime should be avoided in patients with liver failure.

Cefepime needs to be used with extra precautions in patients who have or have ever had colitis.

Cefepime as well as all other antibiotics can disturb gut flora and cause diarrhea. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing diarrhea, because it indicates that colitis has occured.

Cefepime may affect the results of certain lab tests.

Use of Cefepime during pregnancy and breastfeeding

According to the US Agency for Food and Drug Administration, Cefepime belongs to group B (FDA: Group B). This means that animal studies have shown that Cefepime is safe for use during pregnancy, but there are no studies on humans. Talk to your doctor about application of Cefepime injection/infusion during pregnancy.

Cefepime passes into breast milk, so you will need to avoid breastfeeding while using Cefepime injection/infusion.

How to use

Cefepime is found in the form of injection and infusion. Cefepime is commonly administered in health care facilities, although health care staff can train the patient to apply Cefepime injection at home. Whenever possible, it is recommended to administer Cefepime in health care facilities, since Cefepime can cause allergic reactions.

Cefepime is administered intramuscularly or intravenously.

The dosage depends on the type of infection:

Condition Dosage
Febrile neutropenia 2 g intravenously every 8 hours (three times a day) for at least 7 days
Pneumonia 1-2 g every 12 hours (twice a day) for 10 days
Sepsis 2 g intravenously every 8 hours (three times a day) for one week
Urinary tract infections 0.5-1 g intravenously or intramuscularly, twice a day (every 12 hours), for at least a week
Intra-abdominal infections 2 g intravenously, every 12 hours (twice a day), for at least one week
Skin and soft tissue infections 2 g intravenously every 12 hours (twice a day) during 7-10 days

In children, the dose should be calculated on the basis of body weight.

The dose should also be calculated in patients with kidney disorders as well as in elderly patients.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Cefepime should be avoided in combination with the following medicines:

  • Diuretics (water pills) used in the treatment of hypertension such as: furosemide, bumetanide and torasemide. Concomitant use of Cefepime injection/infusion with these medications, may lead to kidney damage.
  • Aminoglycoside antibiotics such as: streptomycin, amikacin, gentamycin, and others. Concomitant use of Cefepime injection with these medicines, increases their effects and can lead to kidney damage and hearing loss.

Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal medicines you are taking.

Side effects

Cefepime may cause the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, taste changes, diarrhea, colitis (intestinal infection), redness or pain at the injection site, anemia, decrease in the number of white blood cells, decrease in the number of platelets in the blood, headache, dizziness, fever, changes of laboratory tests results, fungal infection in the mouth (oral candidiasis), Steven-Johnson syndrome (a life-threatening skin disorder), confusion, hallucination, bleeding, kidney damage, allergic reaction and others.

Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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