Omnicef Prescribing Information
Omnicef is the brand name for cefdinir, an antibiotic medication used to treat various bacterial infections. Cefdinir belongs to a class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins, which are effective against a wide range of bacteria.
Uses of Omnicef
Here are some common uses:
Respiratory Tract Infections: Omnicef is often prescribed to treat respiratory tract infections, including:
- Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis: Bacterial infections of the throat and tonsils.
- Sinusitis: Infections of the sinuses.
- Bronchitis: Infections of the bronchial tubes.
- Pneumonia: Bacterial pneumonia, an infection of the lungs.
Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: It can be used for skin and soft tissue infections caused by susceptible bacteria, such as:
- Cellulitis: A skin infection that can spread to the surrounding tissues.
- Impetigo: A contagious skin infection often seen in children.
- Ear Infections: Omnicef may be prescribed for ear infections (otitis media), especially in children.
It's crucial to take Omnicef exactly as prescribed and complete the full course of treatment, even if you start feeling better before you've finished all the medication. Stopping antibiotics prematurely can lead to antibiotic resistance and incomplete treatment of the infection.
The dosage of Omnicef can vary depending on the type of infection, the age and weight of the patient, and the severity of the infection. Some general guidelines for typical dosages:
For Adults and Adolescents (12 years and older):
- For most infections, the usual recommended dose is 300 mg of Omnicef taken orally once a day or divided into two doses of 150 mg every 12 hours. The duration of treatment can vary depending on the type and severity of the infection but is often 7 to 10 days.
For Pediatric Patients (6 months to 12 years old):
- The dosage for children is typically based on their weight.
- The typical range is 7 mg to 14 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, divided into one or two doses.
- The duration of treatment can vary depending on the type of infection but is often 5 to 10 days.
For Children Under 6 Months Old:
Omnicef is not recommended for use in children under 6 months of age.
Additionally, Omnicef can be taken with or without food, but taking it with food may help reduce the risk of stomach upset. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but if it's close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
Side Effects of Omnicef
Common and less severe side effects may include:
Gastrointestinal Disturbances: These are among the most common side effects and may include:
- Stomach pain or discomfort
Headache: Some individuals may experience mild to moderate headaches while taking Omnicef.
Vaginal Yeast Infection: Omnicef can disrupt the balance of natural microorganisms in the body, leading to a vaginal yeast infection (vaginitis) in some individuals, particularly in women.
Skin Rash: Skin rashes, itching, or hives can occur, though this is less common.
Allergic Reactions: While rare, some people may experience severe allergic reactions to Omnicef, which can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Severe skin rash or blistering
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- If you experience any signs of a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
It's important to note that most people tolerate Omnicef well, and serious side effects are relatively uncommon.
Interaction with other drugs
Some drug interactions can affect the effectiveness or safety of Omnicef or other medications you are using. Here are some notable drug interactions:
- Antacids Containing Aluminum or Magnesium: Antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium can reduce the absorption of Omnicef. To avoid this interaction, it's advisable to take antacids at least 2 hours before or after taking capsules.
- Iron Supplements or Multivitamins with Iron: Similar to antacids, iron supplements and multivitamins containing iron can reduce the absorption of Omnicef. It's recommended to take these supplements at least 2 hours before or after.
- Probenecid: Probenecid, a medication used to treat gout, can increase the levels of Cefdinir in your blood, potentially leading to a higher risk of side effects.
- Live Bacterial Vaccines: Medicine may decrease the effectiveness of live bacterial vaccines, such as typhoid vaccine.
- Other Antibiotics: Combining Omnicef with other antibiotics, especially those in the same class (cephalosporins), should be done with caution.
- Oral Contraceptives: There have been reports of decreased contraceptive efficacy with some antibiotics. While the interaction between Omnicef and oral contraceptives is not well-established, it's advisable to use an additional form of contraception while taking capsules to prevent unintended pregnancy.
- Warfarin (Coumadin): Antibiotic may increase the effects of warfarin, an anticoagulant (blood thinner).
What to avoid while on Omnicef
While taking Omnicef, there are some things you should avoid or be cautious about to ensure the effectiveness of the medication and minimize the risk of side effects. Here are some important considerations:
- Alcohol: It's generally advisable to avoid alcohol while taking Omnicef. Alcohol can interact with antibiotics and may reduce their effectiveness. Additionally, alcohol consumption can potentially worsen certain side effects like stomach upset.
- Antacids and Iron Supplements: Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium and iron supplements can interfere with the absorption of this drug. To avoid this, take antacids and iron supplements at least 2 hours before or after taking Omnicef.
- Dairy Products: Some dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, can bind to Cefdinir and reduce its absorption in the digestive tract. You can take capsules with or without food, but if dairy products upset your stomach, it may be best to take the medication without them.
- Live Bacterial Vaccines: Medicine may decrease the effectiveness of live bacterial vaccines, such as the typhoid vaccine.
- Driving and Operating Machinery: Some individuals may experience side effects like dizziness or drowsiness while taking Omnicef. If you experience these side effects, avoid activities that require mental alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery, until you are sure of your reaction to the medication.
- Allergens and Triggers: If you have known allergies to any ingredients in Omnicef or have had allergic reactions to cephalosporin antibiotics in the past, avoid taking drug.
Contraindications of Omnicef
Omnicef is an antibiotic medication, and there are certain contraindications, or situations in which its use is not recommended or should be avoided. Contraindications may include:
- Allergy to Cefdinir or Cephalosporin Antibiotics: If you have a known allergy to cefdinir or other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as cephalexin or cefazolin, you should not take Omnicef. Allergic reactions to antibiotics can be severe and may include symptoms like hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Clostridium difficile Infection: Omnicef and other antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, potentially leading to a Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection. If you have a known or suspected C. difficile infection, Cefdinir is generally not recommended.
- Severe Renal (Kidney) Impairment: The dose may need to be reduced in individuals with significant kidney dysfunction to avoid the risk of medication buildup in the body.
- Hypersensitivity to Cephalosporins: In addition to a specific allergy to cefdinir, some individuals may have a generalized hypersensitivity or severe allergic reactions to cephalosporin antibiotics. In such cases, the use of Omnicef should be avoided.
Pregnancy and Omnicef
Omnicef is an antibiotic medication, and its use during pregnancy should be carefully considered. Here are some important points to consider regarding pregnancy:
- Pregnancy Category: Medicament is classified as Pregnancy Category B by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that animal studies have not shown any harm to the fetus, but there are limited human studies available. As a result, the safety of Omnicef during pregnancy has not been definitively established.
- Infections During Pregnancy: In some cases, the benefits of treating a bacterial infection during pregnancy with an antibiotic may outweigh the potential risks. Untreated infections can pose a greater threat to both the mother and the developing fetus.
- Alternative Antibiotics: Depending on the type and severity of the infection, your doctor may consider alternative antibiotics that have a longer history of safe use during pregnancy. Penicillins and certain other antibiotics are often preferred choices in pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding: Cefdinir, the active ingredient in Omnicef, can pass into breast milk.
- Monitoring and Follow-Up: Regular check-ups and monitoring can help ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
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