Zinacef : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Zinacef (Cefuroxime injection) is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria including pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract (lung) infections; meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord); gonorrhea (a sexually transmitted disease); and skin, blood, bone, joint, and urinary tract infections. Zinacef may also be used before, during, and sometimes for a brief period after surgery in order to prevent the patient from getting an infection. Zinacef is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria.

Antibiotics such as Zinacef will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.

How should this medicine be used?

Zinacef (Cefuroxime injection) comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle). Zinacef is also available as a premixed product to be injected intravenously. It is usually given every six or eight hours for five to ten days.

You may receive Zinacef in a hospital or you may administer the medication at home. If you will be receiving Zinacef at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to use the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with Zinacef. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.

Use Zinacef until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using Zinacef too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking Zinacef,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cefuroxime; other cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefadroxil,cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefdinir, cefditoren (Spectracef), cefepime (Maxipime), cefixime (Suprax), cefotaxime (Claforan), cefotetan, cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime, cefprozil, ceftaroline (Teflaro), ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef, in Avycaz), ceftibuten (Cedax), ceftriaxone (Rocephin), and cephalexin (Keflex); penicillin antibiotics; or any other medications. Also tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Zinacef. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amikacin, anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin (Neo-Fradin), probenecid (Probalan), streptomycin, and tobramycin . Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any kind of allergies, gastrointestinal disease (GI; affecting the stomach or intestines), especially ulcerative colitis (condition that causes swelling in the lining of the colon [large intestine]), or kidney or liver disease.
  • you should know that Zinacef also decreases the effectiveness of some oral contraceptives (‘birth control pills). You will need to use another form of birth control while taking this medication. Talk to your doctor about other ways to prevent pregnancy while you are taking this medication.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Zinacef, call your doctor.
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What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Zinacef may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • vaginal itching
  • diarrhea
  • pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding near the place where cefuroxime was injected

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking Zinacef and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • watery or bloody stools, stomach cramps, or fever during treatment or for up to two or more months after stopping treatment
  • seizures
  • rash
  • hives
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, and eyes
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • hoarseness
  • decreased urination
  • swelling in legs and feet
  • peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
  • a return of fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
  • hearing loss, if you are being treated for meningitis

Zinacef may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

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What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Your healthcare provider will tell you how to store your medication. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand how to store your medication properly.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • seizures

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to Zinacef.

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Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking Zinacef.

If you are diabetic and test your urine for sugar, use Clinistix or TesTape (not Clinitest) to test your urine while taking this medication.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Kefurox®
  • Zinacef®

Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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