Antibiotics Home > Precautions and Warnings With Cefoxitin

Although cefoxitin may be an effective antibiotic medicine for many people, it may not be the best option for some people who have certain allergies or those with kidney problems. To make sure cefoxitin is right for you, review the warnings and safety precautions with your healthcare provider before starting treatment. Also, make sure you know how to identify potential reactions that require immediate treatment.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving cefoxitin (Mefoxin®) 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 Precautions and Warnings for Cefoxitin

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medicine include the following:
  • Cefoxitin 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 cefoxitin. Because an allergic reaction to cefoxitin 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 excrete cefoxitin from the body. If your kidneys are not functioning well, you will need a lower and/or less frequent cefoxitin dosage.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While diarrhea is a common side effect of cefoxitin, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction to cefoxitin that can occur when certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile) overgrow in the colon. This severe reaction can occur long after you stop using cefoxitin and can be life-threatening.
  • Antibiotics, including cefoxitin, 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 cefoxitin.
  • Cefoxitin should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold or the flu. Cefoxitin is completely ineffective for treating viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance to cefoxitin.
  • Cefoxitin 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 drug during pregnancy (see Mefoxin and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Cefoxitin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using cefoxitin (see Mefoxin and Breastfeeding for more information).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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