Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
SHARE TEXT

cefotaxime

Pronunciation: SEF oh TAX eem

Brand: Claforan

What is the most important information I should know about cefotaxime?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cefotaxime or to similar antibiotics, such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), and others.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially penicillin). Also tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, diabetes, a stomach or intestinal disorder, or a heart rhythm disorder.

Use this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Cefotaxime will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefotaxime.

What is cefotaxime?

Cefotaxime is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body.

Cefotaxime is used to treat many kinds of bacterial infections, including severe or life-threatening forms. Cefotaxime is also used to prevent infections in people having surgery.

Cefotaxime may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using cefotaxime?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cefotaxime, or to other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as:

  • cefaclor (Raniclor);
  • cefadroxil (Duricef);
  • cefazolin (Ancef);
  • cefdinir (Omnicef);
  • cefditoren (Spectracef);
  • cefpodoxime (Vantin);
  • cefprozil (Cefzil);
  • ceftibuten (Cedax);
  • cefuroxime (Ceftin);
  • cephalexin (Keflex); or
  • cephradine (Velosef).

To make sure you can safely use cefotaxime, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • allergy to penicillin;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis;
  • diabetes; or
  • a heart rhythm disorder.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

Cefotaxime can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use cefotaxime?

Cefotaxime is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV. It is sometimes given through a central IV line placed into a large vein in your chest. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Cefotaxime must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Cefotaxime will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using cefotaxime.

Multum refig

If your medicine is frozen when you receive it, keep it frozen until you are ready to use the medicine. It is best to store the medicine in a deep freezer at a temperature of 4 degrees below 0.

To use the medicine, thaw it in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not warm in a microwave or boiling water. Keep thawed medicine in the refrigerator and use it within 10 days after thawing it. Do not refreeze thawed medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

If you are receiving this medication at a clinic, call your doctor if you miss an appointment for your injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include weakness, cold feeling, pale skin, blue lips, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while using cefotaxime?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using cefotaxime and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

What are the possible side effects of cefotaxime?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • uneven heartbeats;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • seizure (black-out or convulsions); or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain, irritation, or a hard lump where the injection was given;
  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
  • headache; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect cefotaxime?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • probenecid (Benemid); or
  • any other injected antibiotic such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), streptomycin, or tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with cefotaxime. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about cefotaxime.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision date: 10/28/2011.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.