Cefuroxime axetil is indicated for the treatment of infections caused by sensitive bacteria.
Lower respiratory tract infections for example, acute bronchitis, acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Upper respiratory tract infections for example, ear, nose, throat infections, such as otitis media, sinusitis, tonsillitis and pharyngitis.
Genito-urinary tract infections for example, pyelonephritis, cystitis and urethritis.
Skin and soft tissue infections for example, furunculosis, pyoderma and impetigo.
Treatment of early Lyme disease and subsequent prevention of late Lyme disease in adults and children over 12 years old.
Gonorrhoea acute uncomplicated gonococcal urethritis, and cervicitis.
Cefuroxime is also available as the sodium salt (Zinacef) for parenteral administration. This permits the use of sequential therapy with the same antibiotic, when a change from parenteral to oral therapy is clinically indicated.
Where appropriate Zinnat is effective when used following initial parenteral Zinacef (cefuroxime sodium) in the treatment of pneumonia and acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.
Posology and method of administration
Route of administration: oral
Dosage in adults
Most infections will respond to 250mg bd. In mild to moderate lower respiratory tract infections e.g. bronchitis 250mg bd should be given. For more severe lower respiratory tract infections, or if pneumonia is suspected then 500mg bd should be given. For urinary tract infections a dose of 125mg bd is usually adequate; in pyelonephritis the recommended dose is 250mg bd. A single dose of one gram is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhoea. Lyme disease in adults and children over the age of 12 years: the recommended dose is 500mg bd for 20 days.
1.5g Zinacef bd (iv or im) for 48-72 hours, followed by 500mg bd Zinnat (cefuroxime axetil) oral therapy for 7 days.
Acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis:
750mg Zinacef bd (iv or im) for 48-72 hours, followed by 500mg bd Zinnat (cefuroxime axetil) oral therapy for 5-7 days.
Duration of both parenteral and oral therapy is determined by the severity of the infection and the clinical status of the patient.
Dosage in children
The usual dose is 125mg bd or 10mg/kg bd to a maximum of 250mg daily. For otitis media, in children less than 2 years of age the usual dosage is 125mg bd or 10mg/kg bd to a maximum of 250mg daily and in children over 2 years of age, 250mg bd or 15mg/kg bd to a maximum of 500mg daily. There is no experience in children under 3 months of age.
Zinnat Tablets should not be crushed, therefore in younger children the suspension is more appropriate.
Elderly and patients with renal impairment
No special precautions are necessary in patients with renal impairment or on renal dialysis or in the elderly at dosages up to the normal maximum of 1g per day.
The usual course of therapy is seven days.
Zinnat should be taken after food for optimum absorption.
Hypersensitivity to cephalosporin antibiotics
Special warnings and precautions for use
Special care is indicated in patients who have experienced an allergic reaction to penicillins or other beta-lactams.
As with other antibiotics, use of cefuroxime axetil may result in the overgrowth of Candida. Prolonged use may also result in the overgrowth of non-susceptible organisms (e.g. Enterococci and Clostridium difficile), which may require interruption of treatment.
Pseudomembranous colitis has been reported with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, therefore, it is important to consider its diagnosis in patients who develop serious diarrhoea during or after antibiotic use.
The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction has been seen following Zinnat treatment of Lyme disease. It results from the bactericidal activity of Zinnat on the causative organism of Lyme disease, the spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi. Patients should be reassured that this is common and usually self-limited consequence of antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease.
With a sequential therapy regime the timing of change to oral therapy is determined by severity of the infection, clinical status of the patient and susceptibility of the pathogens involved. The change to oral therapy should only be made once there is a clear clinical improvement. If there has been no clinical improvement after 72 hours of parenteral treatment, then the patient's treatment should be reviewed. Please refer to the relevant prescribing information for cefuroxime sodium before initiating sequential therapy.
Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
In common with other antibiotics, Zinnat may affect the gut flora, leading to lower oestrogen reabsorption and reduced efficacy of combined oral contraceptives.
As a false negative result may occur in the ferricyanide test, it is recommended that either the glucose oxidase or hexokinase methods are used to determine blood/plasma glucose levels in patients receiving cefuroxime axetil. This antibiotic does not interfere in the alkaline picrate assay for creatinine.
Concurrent administration of probenecid increases the area under the mean serum concentration time curve by 50%. Serum levels of cefuroxime are reduced by dialysis.
A positive Coomb's test has been reported during treatment with cephalosporins. This phenomenon can interfere with cross matching of blood.
Pregnancy and lactation
There is no experimental evidence of embryopathic or teratogenic effects attributable to cefuroxime axetil but, as with all drugs, it should be administered with caution during early months of pregnancy. Cefuroxime is excreted in human milk, and consequently caution should be exercised when cefuroxime axetil is administered to a nursing mother
Effects on ability to drive and use machines
As this medicine may cause dizziness, patients should be warned to be cautious when driving or operating machinery
Adverse drug reactions to cefuroxime axetil are generally mild and transient in nature
Cephalosporins as a class tend to be absorbed onto the surface of red cells membranes and react with antibodies directed against the drug to produce a positive Coombs' test (which can interfere with cross-matching of blood) and very rarely haemolytic anaemia.
Immune system disorders
Hypersensitivity reactions including
Uncommon: Skin rashes
Rare: Urticaria, pruritus
Very rare: Drug fever, serum sickness, anaphylaxis
Nervous system disorders
Common: Headache, dizziness
Common: Gastrointestinal disturbances including diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain
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