Precautions and Warnings With Cefotetan

To reduce the risk of potentially serious problems while using cefotetan, many safety precautions are in place. For example, this antibiotic has warnings related to possible allergies, risks for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and potential dangers for people with kidney disease. Also, cefotetan may not be safe to use with certain other medications, vitamins, or other products.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving cefotetan (Cefotan®) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • An allergy to cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics
  • Any other allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Cefotetan Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this medication include the following:
  • Cefotetan contains an antibiotic that belongs to the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, which are related to penicillin antibiotics. Some people who are allergic to penicillin will also be allergic to cefotetan. An allergic reaction can be quite dangerous. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as: 
    • A rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Wheezing
    • Swelling of the mouth or lips
    • Difficulty breathing.
  • Cephalosporins are associated with a potentially serious condition known as hemolytic anemia. Cefotetan seems more likely to cause this problem, compared with most other cephalosporins. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs or symptoms of this problem, such as:  
    • Pale skin
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have kidney disease, as the kidneys excrete cefotetan from the body. If your kidneys are not functioning well, you will need a lower and/or less-frequent cefotetan dosage.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While diarrhea is a common side effect of cefotetan, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction to cefotetan that can occur when certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile) overgrow in the colon. This severe reaction can occur long after you stop using cefotetan and can be life-threatening.
  • Antibiotics, including cefotetan, can sometimes cause yeast infections, as they can get rid of "good" bacteria that help protect against yeast infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth) during treatment.
  • Alert your healthcare provider right away if you develop any neurological symptoms, such as seizures, confusion, hallucinations, or coma. Problems such as these may occur when cefotetan dosages are too high.
  • Cefotetan should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold or the flu. This drug is completely ineffective for treating viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance.
  • Cefotetan may react with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Cefotetan).
  • Cefotetan is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using cefotetan during pregnancy (see Cefotan and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Cefotetan passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk to your healthcare provider about using cefotetan (see Cefotan and Breastfeeding for more information).

Cefotetan Drug Information

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