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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antibiotics Adult, Children

Cephalosporins - What is it for

​Cephalosporins are a group of antibiotics used to treat infections caused by certain bacteria. These may include infections of the lung, urine, skin and soft tissue.

Examples of Cephalosporins include:

  • Cephalexin
  • Cefadroxil
  • Cefuroxime
  • Cefixime

Cephalosporins - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Cephalosporins cause?

​Some common side effects that you may experience include:

  • Mild diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea or vomiting

Taking the medication with food may reduce these symptoms.

Some rare but serious side effects include:

  • Serious diarrhoea that does not stop, blood or mucus in your stools
  • Very bad stomach pain or cramps
  • Signs of an infection such as fever, chills, bad sore throat, pain when you pass urine or have mouth sores or wounds that do not heal
  • Signs of low platelet levels such as unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Signs of liver injury, which may include dark coloured urine, light coloured stools, severe nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or yellowing of skin or eyes

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Cephalosporins , what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to penicillins, such as Amoxicillin, and other cephalosporins
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies
  • You have kidney problems
  • You are taking warfarin, a medication to thin your blood
  • You are taking probenecid, a medication used to treat gout

Cephalosporins can affect the levels of other medications in your body. Do let your doctor know what other medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products you are taking before starting on your antibiotic.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Cephalosporins ?

​Take these medications 2 hours apart from probiotics.

Cephalosporins - Dosage and How to Use

How should Cephalosporins be used?

  • Refer to the following table to find out when to take your medication:      


​Cephalosporins When to take​
​Cephalexin, Cefadroxil, Cefixime​With or without food
​Cefuroxime​With or after food


  • Take the medication as prescribed by the doctor, at evenly spaced intervals, to keep a constant level of medication in the body.
  • You should complete each course of antibiotics even if you feel better as incomplete treatment might cause the infection to return or cause antibiotic resistance. When antibiotic resistance happens, the antibiotic will not be able to control the growth or kill the bacteria anymore.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Cephalosporins - Handling

How should I handle Cephalosporins safely?

Cephalosporins - Storage

How should I store Cephalosporins ?

;#Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

​Antibiotic powders that have been reconstituted may have different storage conditions. Follow the instructions as stated on the label or as advised by your healthcare professional. Discard any unused portion after the duration stated on the label.

How should I dispose of Cephalosporins safely?

​Please return any unused or expired antibiotics to the pharmacy where you received it from.

Cephalosporins - Additional Information

  • Updated on 3/31/2021 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

​If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

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