Precautions and Warnings With Cefepime

There are some safety guidelines associated with prescribing cefepime, as this medication could cause potentially life-threatening complications. These precautions with cefepime include specific warnings for people who are allergic to penicillin and for those who have problems with their kidneys. Other risks apply to people who have certain allergies or those who are taking certain medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving cefepime (Maxipime®) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • An allergy to cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics
  • Any other allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Cefepime Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medicine include the following:
  • Cefepime contains an antibiotic that belongs to the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, which are related to penicillin antibiotics. Some people who are allergic to penicillins will also be allergic to cefepime. An allergic reaction can be quite dangerous. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • A rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Wheezing
    • Swelling of the mouth or lips
    • Difficulty breathing.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have kidney disease, as the kidneys help remove cefepime from the body. If your kidneys are not functioning well, you will need a lower and/or less frequent dosage.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While diarrhea is a common side effect of cefepime, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction to the drug that can occur when certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile) overgrow in the colon. This severe reaction can occur long after you stop using cefepime and can be life-threatening.
  • Antibiotics, including cefepime, can sometimes cause yeast infections, as they can get rid of "good" bacteria that help protect against yeast infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth) while using this drug.
  • Alert your healthcare provider to any neurological symptoms, such as seizures, confusion, hallucinations, or coma. Such problems may happen with cefepime dosages that are too high.
  • Cefepime should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold or the flu. The drug is completely ineffective for treating viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance.
  • Cefepime is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that the drug is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using cefepime when pregnant (see Maxipime and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Cefepime passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider before using this medication (see Maxipime and Breastfeeding for more information).

Cefepime Antibiotic Information

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