CEFUROXIME AXETIL — cefuroxime axetil tablet, film coated

Rx Only

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets, USP and other antibacterial drugs, Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets, USP should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.


Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets, USP contain cefuroxime as cefuroxime axetil. Cefuroxime Axetil is a semisynthetic, broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic for oral administration.

Chemically, cefuroxime axetil, the 1-(acetyloxy) ethyl ester of cefuroxime, is (RS)-1-hydroxyethyl (6R,7R)-7-[2-(2-furyl) glyoxylamido]-3-(hydroxymethyl)-8-oxo-5-thia-1-azabicyclo [4.2.0]oct-2-ene-2-carboxylate,72 -(Z)-(O -methyl-oxime),1-acetate 3-carbamate. Its molecular formula is C20 H22 N4 O10 S, and it has a molecular weight of 510.48.

Cefuroxime axetil is in the amorphous form and has the following structural formula:


Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets are film-coated and contain the equivalent of 125, 250, or 500 mg of cefuroxime as cefuroxime axetil. Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets contain the inactive ingredients colloidal silicon dioxide, prosolv SMCC 50, sodium lauryl sulfate, croscarmellose sodium, hydrogenated castor oil, hypromellose, propylene glycol, titanium dioxide, dewaxed shellac powder, dibutyl sebacate and polysorbate 80.


Absorption and Metabolism

After oral administration, cefuroxime axetil is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and rapidly hydrolyzed by nonspecific esterases in the intestinal mucosa and blood to cefuroxime. Cefuroxime is subsequently distributed throughout the extracellular fluids. The axetil moiety is metabolized to acetaldehyde and acetic acid.


Approximately 50% of serum cefuroxime is bound to protein. Serum pharmacokinetic parameters for Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Postprandial Pharmacokinetics of Cefuroxime Administered as Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets to Adults*

* Mean values of 12 healthy adult volunteers.

Drug administered immediately after a meal.

Dose (Cefuroxime Equivalent) Peak PlasmaConcentration(mcg/mL) Time of PeakPlasmaConcentration (hr) MeanEliminationHalf-Life (hr) AUC(mcg-hr mL)
125 mg 2.1 2.2 1.2 6.7
250 mg 4.1 2.5 1.2 12.9
500 mg 7 3 1.2 27.4
1,000 mg 13.6 2.5 1.3 50

Comparative Pharmacokinetic Properties: Cefuroxime Axetil for Oral Suspension was not bioequivalent to Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets when tested in healthy adults. The tablet and powder for oral suspension formulations are NOT substitutable on a milligram-per-milligram basis. The area under the curve for the suspension averaged 91% of that for the tablet, and the peak plasma concentration for the suspension averaged 71% of the peak plasma concentration of the tablets. Therefore, the safety and effectiveness of both the tablet and oral suspension formulations had to be established in separate clinical trials.

Food Effect on Pharmacokinetics

Absorption of the tablet is greater when taken after food (absolute bioavailability of Cefuroxime Axetil Tablets increases from 37% to 52%). Despite this difference in absorption, the clinical and bacteriologic responses of patients were independent of food intake at the time of tablet administration in 2 studies where this was assessed.

Renal Excretion

Cefuroxime is excreted unchanged in the urine; in adults, approximately 50% of the administered dose is recovered in the urine within 12 hours. The pharmacokinetics of cefuroxime in the urine of pediatric patients have not been studied at this time. Until further data are available, the renal pharmacokinetic properties of cefuroxime axetil established in adults should not be extrapolated to pediatric patients.

Because cefuroxime is renally excreted, the serum half-life is prolonged in patients with reduced renal function. In a study of 20 elderly patients (mean age = 83.9 years) having a mean creatinine clearance of 34.9 mL/min, the mean serum elimination half-life was 3.5 hours. Despite the lower elimination of cefuroxime in geriatric patients, dosage adjustment based on age is not necessary (see PRECAUTIONS: Geriatric Use).


The in vivo bactericidal activity of cefuroxime axetil is due to cefuroxime’s binding to essential target proteins and the resultant inhibition of cell-wall synthesis.

Cefuroxime has bactericidal activity against a wide range of common pathogens, including many beta-lactamase-producing strains. Cefuroxime is stable to many bacterial beta-lactamases, especially plasmid-mediated enzymes that are commonly found in enterobacteriaceae.

Cefuroxime has been demonstrated to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE section).

Aerobic Gram-Positive Microorganisms:

Staphylococcus aureus (including beta-lactamase-producing strains)

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes

Aerobic Gram-Negative Microorganisms:

Escherichia coli

Haemophilus influenzae (including beta-lactamase-producing strains)

Haemophilus parainfluenzae

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Moraxella catarrhalis (including beta-lactamase-producing strains)

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (including beta-lactamase-producing strains)


Borrelia burgdorferi

Cefuroxime has been shown to be active in vitro against most strains of the following microorganisms; however, the clinical significance of these findings is unknown.

Cefuroxime exhibits in vitro minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 4 mcg/mL or less (systemic susceptible breakpoint) against most (≥ 90%) strains of the following microorganisms; however, the safety and effectiveness of cefuroxime in treating clinical infections due to these microorganisms have not been established in adequate and well-controlled trials.

Aerobic Gram-Positive Microorganisms:

Staphylococcus epidermidis

Staphylococcus saprophyticus

Streptococcus agalactiae

NOTE: Listeria monocytogenes and certain strains of enterococci, e.g., Enterococcus faecalis (formerly Streptococcus faecalis), are resistant to cefuroxime. Methicillin-resistant staphylococci are resistant to cefuroxime.

Aerobic Gram-Negative Microorganisms:

Morganella morganii

Proteus inconstans

Proteus mirabilis

Providencia rettgeri

NOTE: Pseudomonas spp., Campylobacter spp., Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Legionella spp., and most strains of Serratia spp. and Proteus vulgaris are resistant to most first- and second-generation cephalosporins. Some strains of Morganella morganii, Enterobacter cloacae, and Citrobacter spp. have been shown by in vitro tests to be resistant to cefuroxime and other cephalosporins.

Anaerobic Microorganisms:

Peptococcus niger

NOTE: Most strains of Clostridium difficile and Bacteroides fragilis are resistant to cefuroxime.

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