What Is Cefixime Used For?

Adults and children as young as six months old may receive cefixime to treat certain bacterial infections. This prescription drug is specifically approved to treat ear infections, tonsillitis, or bladder infections, among other infections. It works by interfering with the ability of the bacteria to build cell walls, which eventually kills the bacteria. Some off-label uses for cefixime include treating or preventing other types of infections.

An Overview of Uses for Cefixime

Cefixime (Suprax®) is a prescription antibiotic licensed to treat a variety of different infections. It is taken by mouth, usually once or twice a day.
Cefixime is approved for treating the following types of infections:
Cefixime is approved for treating the above infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria will respond to cefixime. Also, bacteria have different resistance patterns in different regions in the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to cefixime in certain parts of the country but not in others.
Cefixime is completely ineffective for treating viral illnesses, such as the common cold or the flu.
In some situations, your healthcare provider may perform certain tests to see if your particular infection is susceptible or resistant to cefixime. In other situations, your healthcare provider may decide to try cefixime without such tests, especially for infections that are not severe. Cefixime is a fairly expensive antibiotic. In general, less-expensive alternatives are tried first, especially for mild, easy-to-treat infections.

How Does It Work?

Cefixime is a cephalosporin antibiotic. Cephalosporins are a part of a larger group of medications known as beta-lactam antibiotics (named after the ring-like "lactam" structure of these antibiotics). Cefixime works by stopping bacteria from making cell walls, which eventually causes the bacteria to die. Cephalosporins are related to penicillin medications.
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