What is cefixime?
Cefixime is an antibiotic that is classed as a "cephalosporin antibiotic" and has a similar range of action to penicillin.
The treatment is usually prescribed for some respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and sexually transmitted infections.
How to take cefixime
Cefixime is available as 200mg tablets (under the brand name of "Suprax") and also as an oral suspension.
For the treatment of Gonorrhoea, the usual dose is 400mg (two 200mg tablets) taken as a single dose. It is usually taken at the same time as a short course of another antibiotic (either azithromycin, or doxycycline) and should be used only after you have been positively tested for the infection.
The tablets can be taken with or without food.
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Is cefixime suitable for me?
If you have an allergy to penicillin, there is a chance that you will have an allergy to cefixime too, and it should be avoided unless it is considered essential.
There are some situations where cefixime should be used with caution or would not be recommended, for example in pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, patients who have an allergy to cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics, kidney problems, and people who are allergic to any of the inactive ingredients.
Tell the doctor if you are taking any other medicines, either prescribed by your GP or purchased from a pharmacy. Cefixime may not be suitable or may need to be used with caution if you are taking some medicines including anticoagulants (such as warfarin).
It's very important to give a full picture of your general health in the consultation, to make sure the doctor has all the information required to assess the safety and suitability of treatment for you.
What are the side effects of cefixime?
Like all medicines, cefixime can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. In general, it is considered to be well tolerated with a low incidence of side effects. Side effects that are considered to be common include diarrhoea and changes to the stools, headaches, dizziness, and allergic signs such as skin rashes or itching, which usually subside when the treatment is stopped. Less commonly reported side effects include stomach upsets (nausea, indigestion, vomiting and flatulence).
For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, please read the patient leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment. It is very important to read the leaflet in full before starting to take cefixime. The leaflet can also be viewed online here.
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