Cefpodoxime (Oral)

Mainly used to treat bacterial infections, Cefpodoxime is a commonly prescribed antibiotic.

Overview

Known as a cephalosporin antibiotic, Cefpodoxime is a third generation medication. Used to treat bacterial infections, patients with respiratory infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea and infections of the skin, ears and urinary tract are routinely treated with Cefpodoxime.

As Cefpodoxime is often prescribed orally, it can also be used to continue antibiotic treatment in patients who have recently received intravenous antibiotic preparations. If their infection has reduced and there is no longer a need for intravenous delivery, Cefpodoxime may be given orally to ensure that the infection has been killed and is not likely to reoccur.

In order for a bacterial infection to flourish, the bacteria cells must remain unharmed. Following this, they are able to divide, replicate and spread throughout the body. When this happens, the patient's symptoms will worsen and their infection will become more widespread and aggressive.

By breaching the walls of bacteria cells, Cefpodoxime can effectively kill the bacteria and prevent it from spreading. As the bacteria is killed, the infection will reduce and patients will begin to notice a reduction in their symptoms. Once Cefpodoxime has taken full effect, the troublesome bacteria in the patient's body will be completely killed and they will be rid of the infection.

Although Cefpodoxime is an extremely effective antibiotic, it is only suitable for use on bacterial infection. If patients are suffering from a different type of infection, such as a viral or fungal illness, Cefpodoxime will not treat them. In addition to this, use of antibiotics on infections which are not bacterial may lead to future antibiotic resistance in the patient.

Cefpodoxime is widely available and generally successful at treating a wide variety of bacterial infections. Due to this, many patients are prescribed Cefpodoxime and the medicine continues to be used by most medical practitioners.

Conditions Treated

  • Bacterial Infections

Type of Medicine

  • Cephalosporin Antibiotic

Side Effects

Although side-effects are an unwanted consequence of taking medication, they do not necessarily mean that the treatment is not working. When Cefpodoxime is used, for example, healthy cells can be affected by the medication. Although this is normally temporary, it does mean that patients may experience some side-effects when taking Cefpodoxime. Although the following side-effects are fairly rare, they may occur when patients are receiving treatment with Cefpodoxime:

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
  • Changes in taste
  • Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • Belching
  • Constipation
  • Blemishes on the skin
  • Accumulation of pus
  • Bloated or full feeling
  • Burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • Cracks in the skin
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty with moving
  • Dry skin
  • Heartburn
  • Excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • Fear or nervousness
  • Hair loss
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • Frequent urge to defecate
  • Increase in body movements
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Headache, severe and throbbing
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased thirst
  • Pimples
  • Indigestion
  • Irritation or soreness of the mouth
  • Poor concentration
  • Joint stiffness or swelling
  • Lack or loss of strength
  • Pressure in the stomach
  • Loss of heat from the body
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Red, sore eyes
  • Muscle aching or cramping
  • Muscle pains or stiffness
  • Red, swollen skin
  • Passing of gas
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Unable to sleep
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sore mouth or tongue
  • Soreness or redness around the fingernails and toenails
  • Swollen, red, or tender area of infection
  • White patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Sensation of spinning
  • Stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • Straining while passing stool
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
  • Swelling or inflammation of the mouth

If the above side-effects do occur and are relatively mild, patients may not need to seek medical advice. In most cases, the side-effects will lessen as patients become used to the medication and they will not cause serious complications. If the side-effects appear to worsen or are debilitating, however, patients may wish to consult their doctor.

In some instances, the patient may need to seek medical advice if they experience certain side-effects while taking Cefpodoxime. Whilst these side-effects may not prevent the medicine from being effective, patients should seek medical advice if they experience them while taking Cefpodoxime:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Loose stools
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Seizures
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Feeling of discomfort
  • High fever
  • Fever with or without chills
  • General feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Irritation or inflammation of the eyelid
  • Muscle aches
  • Itching
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
  • Bladder pain
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Bloody nose
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Burning while urinating
  • Confusion
  • Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • Collection of blood under the skin
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Cough producing mucus
  • Deep, dark purple bruise
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased urination
  • Diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • Difficulty with breathing or troubled breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Irregular breathing
  • Fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • Feeling of warmth or heat
  • Increased thirst
  • Fever or chills
  • Flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • Increased weight
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • General body swelling
  • Increased urge to urinate during the night
  • Hearing loss
  • Heavier menstrual periods
  • Itching of the vagina or genital area
  • Itching, pain, redness, or swelling
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain
  • Nervousness
  • Noisy breathing
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain or swelling of the treated skin
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • Pain, warmth, or burning in the fingers, toes, and legs
  • Rapid breathing
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • Problems with vision or hearing
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rash
  • Sunken eyes
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling and/or puffiness of the face
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Thirst
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • Painful glands
  • Thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
  • Tightness of the chest or wheezing
  • Yellowing of the eyes of skin
  • Tingling of the hands or feet
  • Troubled breathing
  • Change in the color, amount or odor of vaginal discharge
  • Troubled breathing with exertion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Wrinkled skin
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Wheezing

Dosage

When patients are prescribed Cefpodoxime, their physician will determine how much of the medication they should take and when they should take it. Often, this is dependent on the type of infection they have and the severity of the symptoms they are experiencing.

As patients will receive individual instructions from their doctor, they should always follow their physician's advice regarding the appropriate dose of Cefpodoxime. There are standard dosing strategies and these can be helpful when patients are taking Cefpodoxime.

If adults with bronchitis, sinusitis or pneumonia are prescribed Cefpodoxime, for example, they are normally advised to take 200mg of the medication every 12 hours. If children are prescribed Cefpodoxime, however, their dose will be dependent on their weight. When treating children with ear infections, for example, a dose of 5mg per kg od bodyweight every 12 hours is normally prescribed.

In adults with tonsillitis or a urinary tract infection, 100mg of Cefpodoxime every 12 hours is normally sufficient to treat the condition. If patients are being treated for skin infections, however, 400mg of Cefpodoxime every 12 hours may be a more appropriate dose.

When patients are given Cefpodoxime, they are normally told to take the medication for a number of days. If patients are suffering from gonorrhea, however, a single dose of Cefpodoxime at 200mg may be enough to resolve the infection.

As Cefpodoxime can be used to treat a wide variety of infections, the dose will depend on what type of infection the patient is suffering from. In addition to this, doctors will take the patient's medical history, age and weight into account before prescribing the medication. Due to this, patients should take care to follow the instructions they are given when taking any medicine, including Cefpodoxime.

When taking Cefpodoxime, patients should note the strength of the medication they've been given. As Cefpodoxime is available in liquid and tablet form, the strength of each preparation may be different.

If patients are prescribed Cefpodoxime as a liquid, they should use a medicine spoon, cup or syringe in order to measure the appropriate dose of medication. Household items, such as teaspoons and tablespoons, are unlikely to provide an accurate measurement and should not be used to measure medicines, including Cefpodoxime.

If a patient misses a dose of Cefpodoxime, they should take the medicine as soon as they remember to do so. If the next dose of Cefpodoxime is almost due, however, they will need to skip the missed dose completely and simply carry on with the normal dosing strategy. A double dose of Cefpodoxime should not be taking, even if a dose has been missed.

If patients are unsure how to take Cefpodoxime or if they have missed a dose of medicine and are unsure how to proceed with their treatment, they should seek advice from a medical professional, such as their pharmacist, doctor or physician.

Potential Drug Interactions

When patients are given a new medication to take, there is a chance that it could interact with any other medicines they are already taking. Although this can be dangerous in some cases, an interaction may simply mean that patients are more susceptible to side-effects or that they require an alternative dose of Cefpodoxime.

To avoid potentially harmful interactions occurring, patients should tell their physician if they are taking any other medications before they are prescribed Cefpodoxime. This includes over-the-counter medications, supplements and/or vitamins. Similarly, once patients have started taking Cefpodoxime, they should not take over-the-counter medications, vitamins and/or supplements without seeking medical advice first.

If patients are taking the following medications, doctors may provide an alternative to Cefpodoxime or they may advise patients to take a different dose of the medicine:

  • Cimetidine
  • Quinapril
  • Famotidine
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Nizatidine
  • Acetaminophen
  • Probenecid
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Ranitidine
  • Aspirin
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Alginic Acid
  • Magnesium Trisilicate
  • Rabeprazole
  • Risedronate
  • Ehtinyl Estradiol
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Simethicone
  • Magnesium Carbonate
  • Pemetrexed
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Potassium Bicarbonate
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Norethindrone
  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Balsalazide
  • Entecavir
  • Pulyethylene Glycol 3350
  • Bisacodyl
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Bumetanide
  • Desogestrel
  • Drospirenone
  • Sodium Picosulfate
  • Colchicine
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil
  • Didanosine
  • Dihyroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
  • Dexlansoprazole
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Levomefolate Calcium
  • Pheniramine
  • Phenylephrine
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Vitamin D
  • Fluoride
  • Glucono-Delta-Lactone
  • Norgestrel
  • Esomeprazole
  • Furosemide
  • Indium Oxyquinoline in-111
  • Magaldrate
  • Naproxen
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Nimodipine
  • Pantoprazole
  • Torsemide
  • Typhoid Vaccine, live
  • Cholera Vaccine, live
  • Norelgestromin

Warnings

Although Cefpodoxime is effective in treating bacterial infections in most individuals, it may not be a suitable form of treatment for every patient. The presence of some medical conditions can be contra-indicators to use of Cefpodoxime or they may require the standard dosing regime to be altered.

Due to this, patients with the following conditions should inform their doctor before taking Cefpodoxime:

  • Diarrhea and/or digestion problems
  • Colitis
  • Kidney disease

Cefpodoxime is not thought to cause harm to an unborn fetus and may, therefore, be prescribed to pregnant women. The medication is classed as a category B drug by the Food and Drug Administration, however, so pregnant patients should discuss this with their physician before taking Cefpodoxime.

If patients become pregnant when taking Cefpodoxime, they should contact their doctor or physician for advice.

As Cefpodoxime can be passed from a mother to an infant via breastfeeding, patients may want to refrain from breastfeeding whilst taking the medication. In addition to this, patients may be unable to breastfeed if they have taken Cefpodoxime recently as the medication may still be in their system. Breastfeeding patients should discuss the use of Cefpodoxime before taking the medicine.

Cefpodoxime is routinely prescribed to young people and children if they are suffering from bacterial infections. However, it should not be prescribed to infants under the age of 2 months as there are insufficient studies to confirm its safety and efficacy.

Although Cefpodoxime can be used to treat geriatric patients, they may require a lower dose than is standard. As many elderly patients have existing kidney and/or liver problems, it may take longer for their bodies to process the medicine. By altering the dose, any potential complications should be avoided.

Patients should inform their doctor of any allergies they have before taking Cefpodoxime. Medications tend to include fillers, binders and may also include dyes and colorings. By telling their doctor about any allergies they suffer from, patients can ensure that Cefpodoxime is safe for them to take.

If patients experience an allergic reaction when taking Cefpodoxime, they will need to seek medical help immediately. As this constitutes a medical emergency, patients should call 911 or visit their nearest hospital or medical clinic. Allergic reactions often present as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips and/or throat and hives. Due to the life-threatening consequences of anaphylaxis, urgent action must be taken if patients develop these symptoms.

Storage

If patients are suffering from a mild or moderate bacterial infection, they do not normally require in-patient hospital treatment. Due to this, they are often prescribed medication to take at home. Patients are often given Cefpodoxime tablets or liquid and advised to store the medication at home and take it as they have been instructed to.

When storing medication at home, however, it's essential that patients find a secure location. If pets and/or children are in the home, they should not be able to access the medicine under any circumstances.

Most Cefpodoxime tablets should be stored at room temperature and in a location which is free of moisture. In addition to this, Cefpodoxime tablets need to be kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat.

If patients are prescribed Cefpodoxime in liquid form, it may need to be kept in the refrigerator. The medicine container and the packaging will contain specific storage instructions from the manufacturer and patients should adhere to these.

If patients are advised to stop taking Cefpodoxime, they will need to dispose of the medicine carefully. Generally, medications should not be thrown out with household waste. Instead, patients should seek help from their doctor or pharmacist so that Cefpodoxime can be disposed of safely.

Summary

Although bacterial infections can be very serious, the vast majority of infections can be treated relatively easily. If they are diagnosed quickly enough, a short course of oral antibiotics should be enough to kill the infection and relieve any symptoms which are present.

As Cefpodoxime can be used to treat so many different types of bacterial infections, it is an extremely popular medicine and is often prescribed by physicians. As Cefpodoxime can be prescribed to adult patients, teenagers, children and infants over the age of two months, it is often the first-choice medication when it comes to treating bacterial infections.

Similarly, the ease of storing Cefpodoxime, particularly when it is in tablet form, means that tends to have a long shelf-life and is a relatively low-cost treatment.

Although bacterial infections can be treated fairly quickly, they can pose a risk to the patient's left if they spread. Using an oral antibiotic, such as Cefpodoxime, usually prevents the need for subsequent in-patient treatment and the need for intravenous medication to be administered. By prescribing an appropriate dose of Cefpodoxime, doctors can ensure that patients have access to an effective medication and that they aren't at risk of their infection worsening.

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Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 04, 2018