PDR Health


What is Ceftin?

Ceftin (cefuroxime) is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body.

Ceftin is used to treat many kinds of bacterial infections, including severe or life-threatening forms such as meningitis. This medication may also be used to prevent certain types of pneumonia. Ceftin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Health Benefits

Ceftin is used to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear, skin, throat, and urinary tract infections. Ceftin is also used to prevent recurrent meningitis. This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections; it does not work for viral infections (such as the common cold).

Side Effects

Common side effects of Ceftin include:

nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain;

headache, tired feeling;

rash, joint pain; or

swelling in your hands or feet.


The recommended adult dose of Ceftin ranges from 250 mg to 500 mg twice daily, depending on the severity of the infection. The usual pediatric dose is 25 to 50 mg/kg daily in two divided doses. To prevent meningitis, the recommended dose is 75 to 100 mg/kg daily in four divided doses.

Mechanism of Action

Ceftin works by inhibiting the bacterial cell wall synthesis. This action leads to the death of the bacteria.


Ceftin may interact with other antibiotics, oral contraceptives, probenecid, or methotrexate. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Ceftin should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. This medication passes into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Pregnancy and Ceftin

Ceftin is a pregnancy category B drug, which means it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.


Ceftin is rapidly and completely absorbed after oral administration. The mean peak serum concentration (Cmax) is reached 1 to 2 hours following a 500 mg dose. The bioavailability of the 250 mg tablet is approximately 50% and the Bioavailability of the 125 mg/5 mL suspension is approximately 74%.

The serum half-life in adults ranges from 1.4 to 2.6 hours following a single 500 mg dose. In children, the serum half-life has been reported to range from 1.3 to 3.8 hours following a single 25 to 50 mg/kg dose.

Nonclinical Toxicology

In rats and mice, ceftin was not tumorigenic at oral doses up to 4,000 mg/kg (approximately 25 and 34 times the maximum recommended adult human dose based on body surface area, respectively).

Long-term effects of ceftin in animals have not been evaluated.

Clinical Studies

Meningitis Prophylaxis

Ceftin is indicated for prophylaxis of meningococcal disease caused by serogroups A, C, Y or W-135. Efficacy has been demonstrated in controlled clinical trials among healthy adolescents and adults who received a total dose of 75 to 100 mg/kg over a 3-day period (see Clinical Studies). The prophylactic effect of Ceftin has been shown to be at least as great as that achieved with chloramphenicol or rifampin. However, the efficacy of chloramphenicol and rifampin against Neisseria meningitidis group B has not been determined.

Acute Bacterial Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis

Ceftin is indicated for the treatment of patients with acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis due to susceptible isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae or Haemophilus influenzae. In controlled clinical trials, Ceftin was compared to cefaclor, another oral cephalosporin.

Alternatives to Ceftin

Some alternatives to Ceftin include:

Azithromycin (Zithromax)


Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

Ofloxacin (Floxin)

Tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline or minocycline