Cephalosporins – Everything you wanted to know about it

Cephalosporins are the antibiotics prescribed to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections (eg; Respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and skin infections). Cephalosporins are bactericidal agents, meaning they kill bacteria directly. They directly act on the bacterial cell wall.

Bactericidal antibiotics are classified into 5 generations based on when the drugs were developed. In general, each generation is effective against certain types of bacteria. These antibiotics are available in tablet and injection form.

First generation cephalosporins are used against infections, while later-generation Cephalosporins are best in treating severe bacterial infections.

Cephalosporins belong to the similar spectrum of antibiotics as of penicillin and might cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to penicillin.

Based on the severity of penicillin allergy, you can still be able to consume cephalosporins, but most likely not first- or second-generation drugs.

Examples of cephalosporins include

  • Ancef and Kefazol (cefazolin)
  • Ceclor and Cefaclor (cefaclor)
  • Cefdinir
  • Ceftin and Zinacef (cefuroxime)
  • Duricef (cefadroxil)
  • Keflex and Keftabs (cephalexin)
  • Maxipime (cefepime)
  • Rocephin (ceftriaxone)
  • Suprax (cefixime)
  • Teflaro (ceftaroline fosamil)

How do Cephalosporins work?

Cephalosporins work by inhibiting the bacterial cell wall synthesis and hence it destroys the bacteria’s. They inhibit the cell wall synthesis of dividing bacteria’s and their action is irreversible.

Cephalosporins – Uses and Benefits

Cephalosporins are used for the treatment, control, prevention, & improvement of the following diseases, conditions, and symptoms:

  • Meningitis
  • Gynaecological infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Septicaemia
  • Intra-abdominal infections
  • Peritonitis
  • Endometritis
  • Surgical infections
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Cephalosporins side effects

As all drugs Cephalosporins also causes adverse effects that are mentioned below. These side effects of Cephalosporins are possible, but do not always occur. Some of the side effects may be rare but serious. Consult your physician if you notice any of the following side effects, especially if they do not go away.

The following are the most common side effects of Cephalosporins:

  • Rashes
  • Fever
  • nausea, and vomiting
  • Haematological-Decreased Hemoglobin concentration(Hematocrit value)
  • skin reactions
  • Diarrhoea or loose stools
  • Eosinophilia,
  • Urticaria, and pruritus
  • High levels of SGOT, SGPT in the blood serum, and alkaline phosphatase concentrations
  • Increased BUN levels(blood, urea, nitrogen) and serum creatinine concentrations
  • GIT problems

If any adverse effects cases the person must immediately consult a medical practitioner or the concerned doctor.

Precautions while taking Cephalosporins

  • Never take antibiotic medicines for a viral infection like a cold or the flu.
  • Complete course of treatment must be taken, as directed by your physician even if you feel better.
  • Do not use this drug if you notice any changes, stop taking and consult your physician immediately.
  • Give details about your pregnancy or planning for it or breastfeeding.
  • Notify your doctor about past history of kidney disease, epilepsy or heart diseases.
  • Before taking Cephalosporins, tell your physician if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This medicine contains inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Consult your physician for more information.
  • Before using this Cephalosporins, tell your physician your medical history, especially of: severe kidney problems, have a history of tendon problems (eg, rheumatoid arthritis), or have received an organ (example; kidney, heart, or lung) transplant.
  • You should inform your physician about all the products you use any herbal products, prescription and non-prescription drugs.
  • During pregnancy, Cephalosporins should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the benefits and risks with your physician.
  • It is unknown if Cephalosporins passes into breast milk. Discuss the risks and benefits with your physician before breastfeeding.

Cephalosporins – Drug Interactions

When other drugs or over the counter products are taken at the same time along with this medicine, the effects of Cephalosporins may change, and can cause side effects or can make your drug not to work properly.  It is necessary to inform your doctor about all the drugs at present you are taking, Vitamins, etc. so that it is easier for your doctor to prevent or manage drug interactions.

The following are the drugs and products that may interact with Cephalosporins:

  • Alcohol

Intimate your doctor about taking a cephalosporin if you’re taking:

  • Acid reflux drugs like (Pepcid (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), or Zantac (ranitidine) etc.
  • Other heartburn drugs like Aciphex (rabeprazole), Dexilant (dexlansoprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Vivotif (live typhoid vaccine)

If for some reason an experienced doctor is not available around you, then you can contact us here.


Cephalosporins - Everything you wanted to know about it
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