Cefuroxime falls under a group of drugs and antibiotics called cephalosporins. These alongside Penicillins are deemed as some of the drugs with the safest profile. Cephalosporins are classified in terms of generations which corresponds to their time of discovery. The generations also relate to the drug’s spectrum of activity or the type and range of bacteria a drug is active against. Bacteria can be gram negative or gram positive depending on absence or presence of a cell wall respectively.
Cefuroxime is a second generation cephalosporin and is effective against a broad range of bacteria. It is therefore effective against several gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Among these are those that cause diseases such as pneumonia, where it is most commonly used. It is effective against all four common strains of bacteria associated with pneumonia classified as community acquired. It is also recommended for infections of the ear called otitis media and those that affect the respiratory tract.
Cefuroxime is also effective against typhoid and dysentry causing bacteria as well as those that cause urinary tract infections. It is also used to treat gonorrhea and meningitis. Cefuroxime comes as 250mg and 500mg tablets. There is also a suspension for children containing 125mg5ml and 250mg5ml of the drug.
There is both the 50ml and 100ml of the former concentration of the suspension. It also comes as an injectable as a 750mg vial.
The dose given is dependent on the kind of infection, the severity and the age of the patient, of course and is determined by one’s doctor or pharmacist.
It is important that this drug is taken correctly. This will limit the occurrence of resistance against this safe and yet effective drug.
It is recommended for a minimum of five days taken twice a day orally. The injectable can be given for 24-72 hours or until the patient improves and then they are given oral medication. This, therefore, eliminates the need to give injections for between five to seven days as is the norm.
Cefuroxime comes originally as Zinnat (oral) and Zinacef (injectable). There are others on the market like Proximexa, Zocef, Zolidon among others.
The writer is a pharmacist
SOURCE: Daily Monitor