Antibiotics Home > What Is Cefoxitin Used For?

If you have pneumonia, a bladder infection, or certain other bacterial infections, your doctor may recommend cefoxitin. This prescription antibiotic medication can treat a number of infections, and is also used to prevent infections in people who are about to have certain surgeries. Cefoxitin may also be used to treat or prevent other types of infections, although these are unapproved (off-label) uses for the product.

An Overview of Uses for Cefoxitin

Cefoxitin (Mefoxin®) is a prescription antibiotic typically used in hospitals or other similar settings. It is given intravenously (by IV).
Cefoxitin is approved for treating the following types of infections:
  • Lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs, such as a bladder infection or kidney infection)
  • Abdominal (stomach) infections
  • Gynecologic infections
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Skin and skin structure infections.
Cefoxitin is approved for treating the above infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to cefoxitin. Also, bacteria have difference resistance patterns in different regions of the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to cefoxitin in certain parts of the country but not in others. Cefoxitin is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu.
In some situations, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to see if your particular infection is susceptible or resistant to cefoxitin. In other situations, your healthcare provider may decide to try cefoxitin without such tests, especially for infections that are not severe.
Cefoxitin is also licensed to prevent infections in people undergoing certain surgeries, such as:
  • Digestive tract (gastrointestinal, or GI) surgery
  • Hysterectomy (either vaginal or abdominal hysterectomies)
  • Cesarean section (C-section).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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