Precautions and Warnings With Cefotaxime

By following the safety precautions and warnings with cefotaxime, you can help reduce your risk for developing certain complications from this antibiotic, such as allergic reactions and drug interactions. Other problems that may occur include neurological problems, an irregular heart rhythm, or yeast infections. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also review potential risks with this antibiotic.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving cefotaxime (Claforan®) 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 Cefotaxime Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medication include the following:
 
  • Cefotaxime contains an antibiotic that belongs to the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, which are related to penicillin antibiotics. Some people who are allergic to penicillin will also be allergic to cefotaxime. 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 remove cefotaxime from the body. If your kidneys are not functioning well, you will need a lower and/or less frequent cefotaxime dosage.
 
  • In studies, giving cefotaxime rapidly through a central venous catheter caused a potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) in all of the people who received the drug. Therefore, cefotaxime should not be given in this manner. It should be given through a regular IV (a slow injection into a vein) over a period of at least three minutes, or by intramuscular (IM) injection.
 
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While diarrhea is a common side effect of cefotaxime, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction that can occur when certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile) overgrow in the colon. This severe reaction can occur long after you stop using the drug and can be life-threatening.
 
  • Antibiotics, including cefotaxime, 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 medication.
 
  • Alert your healthcare provider right away if you develop any neurological symptoms, such as seizures, confusion, hallucinations, or coma. Problems such as these may occur when cefotaxime dosages are too high.
 
  • Cefotaxime should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold or the flu. This drug is completely ineffective for treating viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance.
 
 
  • Cefotaxime is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it 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 this medicine when pregnant (see Claforan and Pregnancy for more information).
 
  • Cefotaxime passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider before using this medicine (see Claforan and Breastfeeding for more information).
 

Cefotaxime Antibiotic Information

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