What Is Cefuroxime Axetil?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Cefuroxime axetil, which is often used to treat infections of the throat, sinuses, bronchi, and skin, belongs to a group of antibiotics called the cephalosporins. The medication is available in different forms, and needs to be prescribed with caution or avoided in patients who are allergic to cephalosporins or penicillin derivatives. Other drugs or medical conditions can also interact with cefuroxime, and this antibiotic is not without side effects.

Cefuroxime axetil may be prescribed for sinus problems.
Cefuroxime axetil may be prescribed for sinus problems.

Doctors can prescribe cefuroxime axetil to address many common infections caused by some staphylococcus and streptococcus strains. The drug may also be useful in treating urinary tract infections or gonorrhea. Generally, both adults and children may take this medication, which comes in tablet and liquid forms of varying strengths. Precise dosage directions depend on the type of infection present.

Cefuroxime Axetil can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control.
Cefuroxime Axetil can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control.

Prior to recommending this drug, physicians should conduct a thorough patient history to determine if antibiotic allergies are present. What contraindicates the use of cefuroxime axetil is a history of allergy to cephalosporins, or to penicillin or drugs derived from it. Patients sensitive to these medications are more likely to have strong allergic reactions to cefuroxime, which can be very dangerous.

Cefuroxime axetil can be prescribed to treat strep throat.
Cefuroxime axetil can be prescribed to treat strep throat.

There are other medications that can also affect or be affected by cefuroxime axetil. It lowers the effectiveness of hormonal birth control, and women need to use a back-up birth control method while they take it. To avoid additional interactions, patients should provide doctors with a complete list of the drugs they take.

Individuals suffering from colitis should seek medical advice prior to taking cefuroxime axetil.
Individuals suffering from colitis should seek medical advice prior to taking cefuroxime axetil.

Further, the presence of certain medical conditions may contraindicate the use of cefuroxime axetil. Patients with liver or kidney disease usually are not suitable candidates for this drug. Those with a history of colitis are also advised to speak with their doctors about whether this antibiotic is appropriate.

Thrush, which is an oral yeast infection, is a common side effect of cefuoroxima axetil.
Thrush, which is an oral yeast infection, is a common side effect of cefuoroxima axetil.

Most patients who use this cefuroxime have few troubles with it, but it does have side effects some people will experience. These can include nausea, gas, stomach upset, and constipation. Alternately people may notice headaches, muscle or joint pain, or hyperactivity. A common side effect of most antibiotics is the development of vaginal or oral yeast infections, known as thrush.

Cefuroxime axetil may lower the effectiveness of birth control pills, so additional birth control methods will need to be taken.
Cefuroxime axetil may lower the effectiveness of birth control pills, so additional birth control methods will need to be taken.

Some adverse reactions are extremely severe and require immediate medical attention. These include allergy, jaundice or a peeling rash. Sudden increase in weight, fluid retention, reduction in urination, or bloody diarrhea are among the possible serious side effects. Patients on cefuroxime axetil should also get help right away if they notice chest pains, experience a rapid heart rate, or have a seizure.

Cefuroxime axetil may be useful in treating urinary tract infections.
Cefuroxime axetil may be useful in treating urinary tract infections.
Cefuroxime axetil can be used to treat infections of the bronchi, which carry air from the trachea to the lungs.
Cefuroxime axetil can be used to treat infections of the bronchi, which carry air from the trachea to the lungs.
Side effects of cefuroxime axetil may include headache and joint pain.
Side effects of cefuroxime axetil may include headache and joint pain.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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