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Cefuroxime is a second-generation cephalosporin antibiotic prescribed to treat various bacterial infections.

Last Modified: 06 May 2024

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What is Cefuroxime? 

Cefuroxime is a second-generation cephalosporin antibiotic prescribed to treat various bacterial infections. It works by interfering with the bacteria's cell wall synthesis, leading to the destruction of the bacteria. 

The active ingredient in Cefuroxime is cefuroxime axetil, which is a beta-lactam antibiotic. This medication comes in oral tablet form, as well as an injectable solution. 

Global Name

Generic name:  Cefuroxime axetil
Brand names: Zinacef, Zinnat, Cefuzime 


What is Cefuroxime used for? 

Cefuroxime is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections including: 

  • Pharyngitis/tonsillitis 
  • Acute bacterial otitis media 
  • Sinusitis 
  • Bronchitis 
  • Skin and skin structure infections 
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Gonorrhea 
  • Lyme disease 
  • Impetigo 
  • Pneumonia 

How do you use Cefuroxime? 


Cefuroxime is available as tablets, an oral suspension, and as an injectable solution.

Dosage information: 

  • Dosage varies depending on the type and severity of the infection, as well as patient age and kidney function. 
  • Usually taken twice daily. 
  • Tablets should be taken with food to enhance absorption. 


  • Children: Dosage is computed based on weight 
  • Adults: Suitable with appropriate dosage. 
  • Elderlies: Suitable with dosage adjustments if renal function is impaired. 
  • Pregnancy: Should be used only if clearly needed and after assessing the risks and benefits. 
  • Lactation: Caution is advised; consult a healthcare provider. 


Not suitable for those allergic to cephalosporins, penicillins and other beta-lactam antibiotics.

Any warnings and precautions : 

Use with caution in patients with a history of antibiotic-induced gastroenteritis, particularly colitis.

Interactions and contraindications: 

Avoid concurrent use with probenecid and monitor closely if used with anticoagulants. Patients with a history of hypersensitivity or allergic reaction to beta-lactam antibiotics (penicillin, amoxycillin, cefalexin, etc.) may need another type of antibiotic to prevent a recurrence. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions. Serious side effects can be severe allergic reactions, jaundice, or pseudomembranous colitis. 

Pharmacist Tips

Storage Information: 

  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. 

Handling Instructions: 

  • For oral suspension, shake the bottle well before each use and measure with an accurate dosing spoon or device. 


Where is Cefuroxime available in Hong Kong?

Cefuroxime is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


Can Cefuroxime treat viral infections like the common cold or flu?

No, Cefuroxime is an antibiotic that only treats bacterial infections. It has no effect on viral infections.

Should I take Cefuroxime with food?

Yes, taking Cefuroxime with food can increase absorption and reduce stomach upset.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Cefuroxime?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Cefuroxime?

Alcohol may interfere with the effectiveness of Cefuroxime and increase the risk of side effects. It's best to avoid alcohol while taking this medication.

How long does it take for Cefuroxime to work?

Some patients may begin to feel relief within a few days, but the full course of antibiotics should be completed even if symptoms disappear to ensure the infection is fully treated and prevent emergence of antibiotic resistance.  

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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