Cefixime is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It’s included in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Cefixime belongs to a class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins. Cephalosporins are chemically related to the penicillin group of drugs. Cephalosporins are the largest and most diverse group of beta-lactam antibiotics.
Cefixime works by causing the cell wall of bacteria to break down by disrupting its synthesis. Without a cell wall, the bacterium quickly dies out.
Cephalosporins are grouped into four generations. In general, cephalosporins are mostly effective against gram-positive bacteria. With each new generation, cephalosporins become more effective against gram-negative bacteria as well, along with a decreased effectiveness against gram-positive bacteria. Fourth generation cephalosporins, however, have broad spectrum effectiveness against both types of bacteria. Cefixime is a third generation cephalosporin.
Cefixime is commonly prescribed to treat infections in the ear (Like Otitis caused by Moraxella catarrhalis, Streptococcus pyogenes and Haemophilus influenza), throat (tonsillitis and pharyngitis), sinuses (sinusitis) and chest and lungs (pneumonia and bronchitis). Cefixime may also be prescribed to treat typhoid fever.
Cefixime should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.
Dosage of Cefixime will vary depending on the weight of the patient and the type of bacteria causing the infection.
Cefixime is usually taken once a day for a period of 5 to 14 days.
Cefixime tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water. Cefixime can be taken with or without food. However, it’s recommended to take Cefixime with food or milk if the drug causes an upset stomach.
Take Cefixime exactly as directed by a physician. Discontinuing use halfway through the treatment period will cause the infection to return.
Take all Cefixime doses without missing any. Skipping doses may cause the bacteria causing the infection to become antibiotic resistant.
Cefixime causes only a few side effects, which are rarely severe. However, patients undergoing Cefixime treatment must be aware of the following side effects:
Mild stomach upset or cramps
Hypoprothombinemia (a blood disorder that prevents clotting)
If alcohol is consumed when taking Cefixime, it may cause excessive sweating, flushing, headaches or tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate).
Side effects not mentioned above could occur in some patients. Immediately inform a doctor if side effects become severe or do not diminish after a week.
Do not take Cefixime if allergic to any of the ingredients in the drug. Individuals who are allergic to penicillin or other similar antibiotics are more likely to be allergic to Cefixime as well.
Patients with liver disease or kidney problems should consult a physician regarding safety before following a Cefixime prescription.
Cefixime may not be safe to use during pregnancy and could possibly harm a fetus. Consult a doctor regarding whether it’s safe to take Cefixime if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant.
Cefixime may cause adverse reactions with other types of medications such as other antibiotics, aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners like warfarin), probenecid, rbamazepine and some types of vitamins.