What Is Cefdinir?

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  • Written By: Jillian O Keeffe
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Cefdinir is an antibiotic that can kill a variety of bacteria. Conditions that the drug may be able to treat include skin infections, lung infections and ear infections. The antibiotic is available in capsule or liquid form. This drug is considered a broad-spectrum antibiotic because of the wide range of bacteria it successfully combats.

Part of the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, cefdinir targets many bacterial species that can cause disease in humans. These species include Staphylococcus aureus, which can infect skin and other areas of the body, and Haemophilus influenzae, which can produce serious lung disease. Some bacteria are immune to the effects of penicillin, an older antibiotic, but cefdinir can be more effective in killing some of these species. It does only work on infections that are caused by bacteria, however, so it cannot treat viral diseases like flu or sore throat.

Conditions that occur in adults, and that cefdinir can treat efficiently, include the lung problems pneumonia and bronchitis. Skin infections may also be curable with the drug. Infections of the upper respiratory tract like sinusitis, pharyngitis and tonsillitis may also be susceptible. Doctors may also prescribe the antibiotic for kids with ear infections. Although cefdinir is broad-spectrum, the doctor may take samples from the infections first to assess whether the pathogen that is causing the infections is susceptible to the antibiotic.


Typically, a full treatment regime of cefdinir requires the patient to swallow a capsule, or drink a cefdinir suspension, every day or twice a day. Even when the patient feels better, he or she must finish off the remaining doses as the doctor prescribes, so as to prevent the bacteria from developing resistance to the drug. If this happens, the infection can return again and is less likely to be treated successfully.

A common side effect of the drug is that the patient experiences stomach upset. He or she can lower the risk of this happening by eating or drinking at the same time as taking the daily doses. As well as an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea can also occur. The patient may have a reduced appetite or have a headache. Dizzy spells or excessive tiredness are also common side effects.

Some people are allergic to certain medicines, and if the patient experiences facial swelling and trouble breathing, he or she usually requires immediate medical attention. People with diabetes, kidney problems or a history of bowel inflammation may not be suitable for this drug. Some medicines, like antacids or even vitamins, can interact adversely with the antibiotic.


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