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Cefzil Prescribing Information

Cefzil, also known by its generic name cefprozil, is an antibiotic medication used to treat various bacterial infections. It belongs to the class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins, which are effective against a wide range of bacteria.

Antibiotic works by interfering with the bacterial cell wall synthesis, leading to the destruction of the bacterial cells. It is available in various forms, including tablets and oral suspension, making it suitable for both adults and children who have trouble swallowing tablets.

Cefzil tablets

Uses of Cefzil

Cefzil is commonly prescribed to treat infections such as:

  • Respiratory Tract Infections: Cefzil is often prescribed to treat respiratory infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and other infections affecting the lungs and airways.
  • Ear Infections: It is effective in treating bacterial ear infections, particularly in children. Ear infections can include conditions like acute otitis media.
  • Sinus Infections: Antibiotic can be used to treat bacterial sinusitis, which is an infection of the sinus cavities often causing symptoms like facial pain, congestion, and pressure.
  • Strep Throat and Tonsillitis: Cefzil can be used to treat bacterial infections of the throat, including streptococcal throat infections, also known as strep throat.
  • Skin Infections: Certain bacterial skin infections, such as cellulitis, may be treated with Cefzil.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: While not as commonly used for this purpose, Cefzil might be prescribed to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections caused by susceptible bacteria.

It's important to note that Cefzil is not effective against viral infections, such as the common cold or flu. The decision to prescribe Cefzil or any antibiotic should be made by a healthcare professional based on the specific bacterial infection and its susceptibility to the medication.


The dosage of Cefzil can vary based on the specific infection being treated, the patient's age, weight, and overall health, as well as other factors. It's important to follow the dosing information on the prescription label. The following are general guidelines for Cefzil dosages, but remember that your doctor's recommendations should always be followed:

  • Adults: The typical dosage for adults is usually 250 mg to 500 mg taken every 12 hours. The total daily dose can range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg, depending on the severity of the infection.
  • Children: For children, the dosage of Cefzil is based on their weight. The usual recommended dose is 15 mg/kg per day, divided into two equal doses taken every 12 hours. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 1,000 mg.
  • Renal Impairment: If you have kidney problems, your doctor may adjust the dosage of Cefzil to ensure that the medication is cleared from your body properly.

It's important to take Cefzil with food to improve its absorption and reduce the risk of stomach upset. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's close to the time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Never double up on doses to make up for a missed one.

Side Effects of Cefzil

Cefzil can potentially cause side effects, as is the case with most medications. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and some individuals may experience only mild effects. It's important to be aware of the possible side effects, but also to remember that the benefits of treating a bacterial infection usually outweigh the risks of side effects. Here are some potential side effects of Cefzil:

Common Side Effects:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

Less Common Side Effects:

  • Skin rash or itching
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Gas or bloating
  • Joint pain
  • Mouth sores

Rare but Serious Side Effects:

  • Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, difficulty breathing)
  • Severe or persistent diarrhea (can be a sign of a more serious intestinal infection)
  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain

Note that this list is not exhaustive, and individual reactions can vary. Some side effects may be more likely to occur in certain populations, such as those with a history of allergies or certain medical conditions. If you experience any unusual or severe side effects, it's important to seek medical attention promptly.

Additionally, if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention, as allergic reactions can be serious.

Interaction with other drugs

Cefzil can interact with other drugs, potentially affecting their effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. Here are some notable interactions:

  • Probenecid: Probenecid, a medication used to treat gout, can affect the way your body eliminates cefprozil, potentially leading to higher levels of the antibiotic in your bloodstream.
  • Loop Diuretics (e.g., Furosemide): Concurrent use of loop diuretics and cefprozil might increase the risk of kidney problems.
  • Blood Thinners (e.g., Warfarin): Cefprozil might interact with blood thinners, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding. Your doctor may need to monitor your blood clotting parameters more closely.
  • Oral Contraceptives: There have been reports of decreased effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills) when taken with certain antibiotics, including cefprozil. It's advisable to use an additional form of contraception while taking antibiotics.
  • Live Bacterial Vaccines: Cefprozil may decrease the effectiveness of live bacterial vaccines. Consult your doctor if you are scheduled for any vaccinations.
  • Antacids and Calcium Supplements: Antacids containing aluminum, magnesium, or calcium, as well as calcium supplements, can reduce the absorption of cefprozil. It's recommended to take cefprozil at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after these products.
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs): Medications like omeprazole and esomeprazole, which reduce stomach acid, might affect the absorption of cefprozil. It's advisable to space out their administration.
  • Aminoglycosides: Concurrent use of cefprozil with aminoglycoside antibiotics might lead to increased kidney toxicity.
  • Warfarin: Cefprozil might enhance the effects of warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding.

This list is not exhaustive, and there may be other potential interactions.

What to avoid while on Cefzil

While taking Cefzil, there are certain things you should avoid or be cautious about to ensure the effectiveness of the medication and your overall health. Here are some recommendations:

  • Alcohol: While Cefzil itself doesn't have a documented interaction with alcohol, it's generally a good idea to avoid alcohol when you're on antibiotics. Alcohol can potentially interfere with the body's ability to fight off the infection and might exacerbate some of the side effects associated with antibiotics, such as stomach upset.
  • Antacids and Calcium Supplements: Avoid taking antacids or calcium supplements within 2 hours before or after taking this drug. These products can reduce the absorption of the antibiotic.
  • Dairy Products: Some dairy products, particularly those high in calcium, can also interfere with the absorption of Cefzil. It's a good practice to space out your dairy consumption from when you take your medication.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interact with certain medications, but there isn't a documented interaction with Cefzil. However, to be on the safe side, it's a good idea to avoid consuming large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice while on any medication.
  • Other Medications: Inform your doctor about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to avoid potential interactions. Some medications can affect the absorption or effectiveness of Cefzil.
  • Live Bacterial Vaccines: If you're on Cefzil, you should avoid live bacterial vaccines. The antibiotic might interfere with the effectiveness of such vaccines.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Some people may experience dizziness or lightheadedness as a side effect of Cefzil. If you experience these side effects, it's important to avoid activities that require mental alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery, until you know how the medication affects you.
  • High-Fiber Foods: While high-fiber foods are generally healthy, consuming them around the same time as your medication might reduce the absorption of Cefzil. It's advisable to space out high-fiber meals from your medication.

Contraindications of Cefzil

Contraindications are specific situations or conditions where the use of a medication like Cefzil is not recommended due to the potential risks or lack of effectiveness. Here are some contraindications:

  • Allergic Reaction to Cephalosporins: If you have a known allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics, including cefprozil, you should avoid taking Cefzil, as there is a risk of a severe allergic reaction.
  • Severe Allergic Reactions to Penicillin: Individuals who have had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin antibiotics (like amoxicillin or ampicillin) may also be at an increased risk of an allergic reaction to cephalosporin antibiotics. Cross-reactivity between these antibiotic classes is possible.
  • History of Severe Gastrointestinal Disorders: Cefzil should be used with caution in individuals with a history of severe gastrointestinal disorders, particularly colitis, as antibiotics can sometimes lead to the worsening of these conditions.
  • Kidney Dysfunction: Medicine is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. If you have severe kidney dysfunction or are undergoing dialysis, your doctor might need to adjust your dosage or consider an alternative treatment.
  • Certain Medical Conditions: If you have specific medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders or a history of kidney problems, your doctor might need to adjust the dosage or choose an alternative treatment.
  • Infants Under 6 Months of Age: Cefzil is not recommended for infants under 6 months of age due to limited safety and efficacy data in this age group.
  • Prior Experience with Cefzil: If you have experienced a poor response or adverse reactions to Cefzil or other cephalosporin antibiotics in the past, your doctor may consider alternatives.

Pregnancy and Cefzil

Cefzil is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy, but it's important to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication while pregnant.

Antibiotic falls under FDA pregnancy category B, which means that animal studies have not shown any harmful effects on the fetus, and there are limited studies in pregnant women. While there haven't been reports of significant adverse effects in pregnant women who have used Cefzil, it's still advisable to weigh the potential benefits against any potential risks.

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