Cefuroxime - Use | Dosage | Side Effects

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

Cefuroxime is a drug from the group of cephalosporin antibiotics. Cefuroxime works by killing bacteria, and therefore is used to treat infections.

Cefuroxime belongs to the II generation of cephalosporins.

Cefuroxime is found in the form of tablets, syrups and injections.

Cefuroxime is used to treat following conditions:

  • Ear, nose and throat infections
  • Infections of the lungs, tonsils, sinuses
  • Reproductive system infections (gonorrhea)
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Meningitis


Cefuroxime should be avoided in the following conditions:

  • If you are allergic to Cefuroxime or other similar medicines such as penicillin, amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav, ampicillin, ceftriaxone, cefaclor, cephalexin, cefepime, cefazolin and other cephalosporins. Symptoms of an allergy include: skin rash, itching of the skin, redness, swelling of the face, swelling of the tongue, swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing. Allergies can cause anaphylactic shock, that may be fatal.
  • If you have colitis (bowel inflammation)
  • If you have liver or kidney disorders
  • If you have diabetes
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you are taking other medicines that can cause kidney damage, such as gentamicin, streptomycin, furosemide (Lasix) and others.

Cefuroxime reduces the effect of contraceptive pills and can lead to unwanted pregnancy. Use extra protection while using Cefuroxime.

Cefuroxime can cause diarrhea, which may be accompanied with bloody or black stools. This is a sign that the bowel infection has occurred and you need to stop using Cefuroxime, and immediately contact your doctor.

It is very important that you are using Cefuroxime as long as your doctor recommended, to stop bacteria from developing a mechanism to fight against Cefuroxime.

Use of during pregnancy and breastfeeding

According to the FDA, Cefuroxime belongs to group B (FDA: Group B). This means that animal studies have shown that Cefuroxime is not harmful to the fetus, but there are no studies on humans. Cefuroxime should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the child.

Cefuroxime passes into breast milk and may harm your baby. Avoid breastfeeding while using Cefuroxime tablets, injections or syrup.

How to use Cefuroxime

Cefuroxime should be taken after meal.

The usual dose for adults using an injection is 750-1500 mg three times a day.

Sometimes it is necessary to give the injection first and then move on to tablets.

The usual dose in patients above the age of 12 to treat respiratory tract infections, skin, soft tissue and urinary tract infection is from 250 to 500 mg twice a day.

The duration of treatment depends on the severity of infection. In the treatment of pneumonia (lung infection), urinary tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections treatment should last 7 to 10 days.

To treat gonorrhea Cefuroxime should be used in a dose of 1000 mg, once only.

To treat Lyme disease (tick bite) Cefuroxime should be used in a dose of 500 mg twice a day, for three weeks.

To treat meningitis Cefuroxime should be used only in the form of injections in dose of 1500 mg, 4 times a day.

In children aged 5 to 12, the dose ranges from 125 mg to 250 mg twice a day.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Cefuroxime should be avoided in combination with the following medicines:

  • Oral contraceptives (e.g. Yasmin). Cefuroxime reduces effect of oral contraceptives and therefore there is an increased risk of unwanted pregnancy.
  • Oral anticoagulants, such as: acenocoumarol (Sintrom, Sinkum 4), warfarin (Farin), and others. Concomitant use of Cefuroxime with these medicines increases the risk of bleeding.
  • Probenecid, used to treat gout.
  • Medicines that can cause the kidney damage, such as: gentamycin, streptomycin, furosemide (Lasix), bumetanide, spironolactone, and others. Concomitant use of these medicines with Cefuroxime increases the risk of kidney damage.
  • Medicines used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers such as: omeprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole.

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

Side effects

Cefuroxime may cause the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (which can be accompanied by bloody or black stools), liver damage (increased liver enzymes levels, jaundice-yellowing of the skin and eyes), headache, drowsiness, kidney damage (difficulty urinating, dark urine, bloody urine), flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, runny nose), Steven-Johnson syndrome (a life threatening skin condition), fever, weakness , chest pain, swelling of the joint, allergy (rash, itching, redness, swelling of the face, swelling of the tongue, difficulty breathing, anaphylactic shock).

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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