Zinacef

Generic Name: Cefuroxime

  • What is Zinacef?

    Zinacef is an antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, including respiratory tract, urinary tract, skin, blood, bone and joint infections, gonorrhea, and meningitis. It is also used before surgery to help to prevent post-surgical infections. Zinacef is injected into a muscle or is administered intravenously.

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

    If you are allergic to either penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics in any form, tell your doctor as he or she may wish to prescribe a different antibiotic. There is a possibility that you are allergic to both types of medications; and if a reaction occurs, it could be extremely severe. If you take the drug and feel signs of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

    Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you are taking Vancomycin or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools. Do not treat diarrhea first without checking with your doctor.

    Antibacterial drugs, including Zinacef, should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold or flu). When Zinacef is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, but you must take the full course of the medicine exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may decrease the effectiveness of the treatment and increase the likelihood of developing drug-resistant bacteria.

  • Who should not take Zinacef?

    Do not use Zinacef if you have a history of allergic reactions to any penicillin or cephalosporin.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zinacef. Also talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if are in a poor nutritional state, have kidney or liver disease, a history of gastrointestinal disease (especially colitis), if you have an allergy to penicillins or cephalosporins. Tell your doctor if you use birth control pills, since they may not be as effective while you are taking Zinacef.

  • 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.

    Adults: Based on the location and severity of your infection, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you.

    Children ≥3 months: Based on the location and severity of your child's infection, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child.

  • How should I take Zinacef?

    Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may decrease the drug's effectiveness and may increase the chances for bacterial resistance.

  • What should I avoid while taking Zinacef?

    Avoid skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy. This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases.

    Do not treat diarrhea first without checking with your doctor.

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

    If Zinacef is used 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 Zinacef with the following: aminoglycoside antibiotics, blood-thinning agents, estrogen/progesterone oral contraceptives, and probenecid.

  • What are the possible side effects of Zinacef?

    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, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, vaginal fungal infection, skin rash

    Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of pseudomembranous colitis, a rare but serious form of diarrhea. Symptoms include stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools.

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

    Zinacef should be used during pregnancy only when clearly needed. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Since Zinacef may appear in breast milk, you should consult your doctor if you plan to breastfeed your baby.

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

    Zinacef should be given under special circumstances determined by your doctor. If you miss your scheduled dose, it is best to speak to your healthcare provider for advice.

  • How should I store Zinacef?

    Your physician will store this medication.

Starting a GERD or Ulcer Drug?

Our nine-week newsletter series, written by a pharmacist, will help you learn about your medication.
Sign Up

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

Check out my latest blog post on heartburn medication

Zinacef Related Drugs

Zinacef Related Conditions