Cefuroxime Axetil (Page 3 of 6)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of cefuroxime axetil. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders

Hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Pseudomembranous colitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Hepatobiliary Disorders

Hepatic impairment including hepatitis and cholestasis, jaundice.

Immune System Disorders

Anaphylaxis, serum sickness-like reaction.


Increased prothrombin time.

Nervous System Disorders

Seizure, encephalopathy.

Renal and Urinary Disorders

Renal dysfunction.

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders

Angioedema, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria.


7.1 Drugs that Reduce Gastric Acidity

Drugs that reduce gastric acidity may result in a lower bioavailability of cefuroxime axetil compared with administration in the fasting state. Administration of drugs that reduce gastric acidity may negate the food effect of increased absorption of cefuroxime axetil when administered in the postprandial state. Administer cefuroxime axetil at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after administration of short-acting antacids. Histamine-2 (H2) antagonists and proton pump inhibitors should be avoided.

7.2 Probenecid

Concomitant administration of probenecid with cefuroxime axetil tablets increases serum concentrations of cefuroxime [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Coadministration of probenecid with cefuroxime axetil is not recommended.

7.3 Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

A false-positive reaction for glucose in the urine may occur with copper reduction tests (e.g., Benedict’s or Fehling’s solution), but not with enzyme-based tests for glycosuria. As a false-negative result may occur in the ferricyanide test, it is recommended that either the glucose oxidase or hexokinase method be used to determine blood/plasma glucose levels in patients receiving cefuroxime axetil. The presence of cefuroxime does not interfere with the assay of serum and urine creatinine by the alkaline picrate method.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Available data from published epidemiologic studies, case series, and case reports over several decades with cephalosporin use, including cefuroxime axetil, in pregnant women have not established drug-associated risks of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes (see Data).

In studies in pregnant mice and rats administered oral cefuroxime axetil during organogenesis at 14 and 9 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) based on body surface area, respectively, there were no adverse developmental outcomes (see Data). The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations are unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defects, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations
Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal Risk: Maternal gonorrhea may be associated with preterm birth, low neonatal birth weight, chorioamnionitis, intrauterine growth restriction, small for gestational age, and premature rupture of membranes. Perinatal transmission of gonorrhea to the offspring can result in infant blindness, joint infections, and bloodstream infections.

Data Human Data: While available studies cannot definitively establish the absence of risk, published data from epidemiologic studies, case series, and case reports over several decades have not identified an association with cephalosporin use (including cefuroxime axetil) during pregnancy and major birth defects, miscarriage, or other adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Available studies have methodologic limitations, including small sample size, retrospective data collection, and inconsistent comparator groups. Animal Data: Studies performed with oral cefuroxime axetil administered to pregnant mice during organogenesis (Gestation Days 7 through 16) at doses up to 3,200 mg/kg/day (14 times the MRHD based on body surface area); and in rats dosed during organogenesis and lactation (Gestation Days 7 through 16 and Gestation Days 17 through Lactation Day 21, respectively) at doses up to 1,000 mg/kg/day (9 times the MRHD based on body surface area) have revealed no adverse developmental outcomes.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Based on several published case reports describing multiple lactating women who received cefuroxime via intravenous, intramuscular, and oral routes, cefuroxime is present in human milk. The highest maternal milk concentration described occurred in lactating women 8 hours after an intramuscular administration of cefuroxime 750 mg. Allowing for an infant milk consumption of 150 mL/kg/day, the estimated breastfed infant dose would be less than 1% of the adult dose. No data are available on the effects of the drug on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drug on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for cefuroxime and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from cefuroxime or from the underlying maternal condition.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of cefuroxime axetil have been established for pediatric patients aged 3 months to 12 years for acute bacterial maxillary sinusitis based upon its approval in adults. Use of cefuroxime axetil in pediatric patients is supported by pharmacokinetic and safety data in adults and pediatric patients, and by clinical and microbiological data from adequate and well-controlled trials of the treatment of acute bacterial maxillary sinusitis in adults and of acute otitis media with effusion in pediatric patients. It is also supported by postmarketing adverse events surveillance. [See Indications and Usage (1), Dosage and Administration (2), Adverse Reactions (6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3).]

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects who received cefuroxime axetil in 20 clinical trials, 375 were aged 65 and older while 151 were aged 75 and older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger adult subjects. Reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger adult patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Cefuroxime is substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.

8.6 Renal Impairment

Reducing the dosage of cefuroxime axetil is recommended for adult patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min) [see Dosage and Administration (2.5), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


Overdosage of cephalosporins can cause cerebral irritation leading to convulsions or encephalopathy. Serum levels of cefuroxime can be reduced by hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.


Cefuroxime axetil tablets, USP contain cefuroxime as cefuroxime axetil. Cefuroxime axetil is a semisynthetic, cephalosporin antibacterial drug for oral administration.

The chemical name of cefuroxime axetil (1-(acetyloxy) ethyl ester of cefuroxime) is (RS)-1 hydroxyethyl (6R ,7R)-7-[2-(2-furyl)glyoxyl-amido]-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:

(click image for full-size original)

Cefuroxime axetil tablets, USP are film-coated and contain the equivalent of 250 or 500 mg of cefuroxime as cefuroxime axetil. Cefuroxime axetil tablets, USP contain the inactive ingredients microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, sodium lauryl sulfate, colloidal silicon dioxide, calcium stearate, calcium carbonate, crospovidone, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, FD &C blue no.1 Aluminium lake.

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