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What Is the Recommended Cefotaxime Dosage for Preventing Surgical Infections?

For preventing surgical infections in adults, the standard amount is a single dose of cefotaxime 1 gram, given 30 to 90 minutes before the first incision. It can be given by IV, which is usually easier, as an IV will usually be in place, or by an IM injection if necessary.
For a cesarean section (C-section), the standard dosage is cefotaxime 1 gram, given by IV immediately after the cord is clamped, followed by two additional 1-gram doses, given either by IV or IM 6 and 12 hours after the initial dose.
For children, the dosage will be based on the child's weight.

General Information on Receiving Cefotaxime

Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with cefotaxime include the following:
  • This medication is given by IV or by intramuscular injection. It can be given as a single dose for less serious infections, or it may be given as multiple doses every 4 to 12 hours for more serious infections.
  • For serious infections, it is usually best to give this drug by IV rather than an intramuscular injection.
  • When given by IV, cefotaxime should be given over three to five minutes. Giving it more rapidly can cause an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia).
  • When given by IM injection, a large muscle, such as the gluteal muscle, should be used. For large doses (such as 2 grams), cefotaxime can be divided and given into different muscles.
  • This antibiotic is often given for a few days after the infection has cleared up. For serious infections, an even longer treatment course may be recommended.
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or cefotaxime dosing in general, please talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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