Patient age and kidney health generally factor into determining a sufficient cefixime dose. Sufficient doses of the antibiotic must effectively treat infections while not placing undue stress on bodily functions. Taking certain medications for diabetes may affect absorption time but does not require dosage adjustments. Physicians may monitor patients taking cefixime with an anticoagulant and the seizure medication carbamazepine.
Cefixime is a semi-synthetic medication that belongs to the category of antibiotics commonly referred to as cephalosporins. It eliminates susceptible bacteria by interfering with the ability to develop protective cellular walls, making the organism vulnerable to attack. Cefixime has broad-spectrum capabilities, meaning the medication effectively kills a long list of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Some of the susceptible strains of bacteria include several types of Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella. Cefixime is also used to treat gonorrhea.
Health care providers usually prescribe cefixime for ear infections, tonsillitis, respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections. It is available in both a liquid suspension and as a tablet. Patients may take the medication with or without food as eating prior to taking cefixime delays absorption time by less than one hour.
The typical adult cefixime dose is 400 milligrams, taken once daily. Physicians generally determine a pediatric cefixime dose based on the weight of the child. Children older than six months usually receive 8 milligrams per kilogram of body weight while children over the age of 12 or who weigh more than 110 pounds (50 kilograms), receive a normal adult dose. Adult and pediatric patients might also divide the daily amount into two doses, taken once every 12 hours.
The kidneys eliminate most of cefixime from the body. Patients with kidney disease cannot eliminate the medication properly, causing increased blood levels of cefixime. Renal impairment may require a reduction of the cefixime dose by 50% to 75%. Dialysis does not eliminate the medication from the blood. Combining cefixime with aminoglycoside antibiotics may eliminate a wider range of microbes but increases kidney stress during elimination.
Frequently reported side effects of cefixime include diarrhea and abdominal discomfort, and some patients experience headaches and dizziness. Patients with an allergy to penicillin may also develop cross-sensitivity reactions to cefixime. Taking cefixime increases the likelihood of overgrowth in yeast colonies, which can cause vaginal discomfort. Pharmaceutical companies generally do not recommended cefixime for patients with gastrointestinal disorders or Clostridium infections as risks include exacerbation of gastric symptoms.
Combining carbamazepine with cefixime increases the blood levels of the carbamazepine, and cefixime increases the anticoagulant action of warfarin and similar medications. Patients who use probenecid while taking the antibiotic exhibit increased levels of cefixime. The diabetic medication exenatide increases the absorption time of cefixime, and patients should take these drugs at least one hour apart.