Omnicef

Generic Name: Cefdinir

  • What is Omnicef?

    Omnicef is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat many different types of bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils), ear infections, and skin infections.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Omnicef?

    Like all antibiotics, Omnicef works only against bacteria. It will not cure an infection caused by a virus, such as the common cold or flu.

    Antacids containing magnesium or aluminum and iron supplements, including multivitamins that contain iron, interfere with the effectiveness of Omnicef. If you are required to take these products, you should take Omnicef at least 2 hours before or after taking them. The only exception to this rule is iron-fortified infant formula.

    Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea, although rare, may occur. Contact your doctor right away if you experience stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools. Do not treat the diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.

    Diabetics should be aware that Omnicef suspension contains sugar.

  • Who should not take Omnicef?

    If you've ever had an allergic reaction to a cephalosporin antibiotic, you should not take Omnicef. Also, if you are allergic to penicillin, you may also be allergic to cephalosporins. The reaction can be extremely severe. Be sure to let the doctor know about any medication allergies you may have.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Omnicef?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Omnicef. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have colitis (inflammation of the lower bowel), diabetes, kidney problems, or seizures. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Chronic Bronchitis and Sinus/Throat/Tonsil Infections

    Adults and adolescents ≥13 years: The usual dose is 300 milligrams (mg) every 12 hours or 600 mg once a day. Based on your condition, your doctor will determine the appropriate duration of treatment.

    Pneumonia and Skin Infections

    Adults and adolescents ≥13 years: The usual dose is 300 mg every 12 hours for 10 days.

    Ear, Sinus, Skin, and Throat Infections

    Children 6 months-12 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their body weight.

  • How should I take Omnicef?

    Omnicef can be taken with or without food. Shake the oral suspension well before each use.

    It is important to take the full dosage schedule of Omnicef, even if you are feeling better in a few days. Not completing the full dosage schedule may decrease the drug's effectiveness and increase the chances that the bacteria may become resistant to Omnicef and similar antibiotics. If this happens, Omnicef and similar antibiotics may not work in the future.

  • What should I avoid while taking Omnicef?

    Do not take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium, iron supplements, or multivitamins with iron, with a dose of Omnicef. Take these products at least 2 hours before or after a dose of Omnicef to prevent decreased effectiveness of the antibiotic.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Omnicef?

    If Omnicef is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Omnicef with any of the following: antacids, iron supplements, multivitamins containing iron, and probenecid.

    The combination of iron and Omnicef sometimes turns the stool red. This is not a cause for concern.

  • What are the possible side effects of Omnicef?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: diarrhea, vaginal infection, nausea, rash, headache, abdominal pain, vaginal itching, vomiting, upset stomach, gas, loss of appetite, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, trouble sleeping

  • Can I receive Omnicef if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Omnicef during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Omnicef?

    If you miss a dose of Omnicef, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Omnicef?

    Store Omnicef capsules at room temperature. Store Omnicef oral suspension at room temperature for up to 10 days, after which any unused portion must be thrown away.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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