What is cefadroxil, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Cefadroxil is an oral antibiotic in the cephalosporin family of drugs, a family that includes cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefixime (Suprax), and many other injectable antibiotics. Cephalosporins stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Cephalosporins are most effective when bacteria are actively multiplying and forming cell walls. Cefadroxil is active against many bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Moraxella catarrhalis, E. coli, Klebsiella, and Proteus mirabilis. The FDA approved cefadroxil in 1977.

Is cefadroxil available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for cefadroxil?


What are the uses for cefadroxil?

Cefadroxil is prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Moraxella catarrhalis, E. coli, Klebsiella, and Proteus mirabilis, urinary tract infections (UTI), throat infections (sore throat), and tonsillitis.

What are the side effects of cefadroxil?

Cefadroxil generally is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:

Patients who have had allergic reactions to other cephalosporins should not take cefadroxil. Additionally, persons allergic to penicillin or one of its derivatives (for example, amoxicillin [Amoxil, Dispermox, Trimox] or ampicillin [Omnipen, Plycillin, Principen]) may also be allergic to cefadroxil, although cefadroxil has been used safely in such patients.

Other important side effects which are serious, but rare include:

  • seizures,
  • severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis),
  • and reduced platelet or red blood cell counts.

Cefadroxil can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria, specifically, Clostridium difficile which causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting cefadroxil (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately.


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What is the dosage for cefadroxil?

The recommended adult dose for treating pharyngitis, skin and skin structure infections, and tonsillitis is 1 gram daily as a single dose or in two divided doses.

The dose for urinary tract infections is 2 grams once daily or in two divided doses.

The dose for preventing endocarditis is 2 grams given one hour before a procedure.

The recommended dose for children is 30 mg/kg/day as a single dose or two divided doses.

Which drugs or supplements interact with cefadroxil?

Cefadroxil may reduce the immune response to BCG (tuberculosis vaccine) and typhoid live vaccines and result in less effective vaccination.

Is cefadroxil safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies of cefadroxil in pregnant women.

Cefadroxil is secreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about cefadroxil?

What preparations of cefadroxil are available?

Tablets: 1 g. Capsules: 500 mg. Powder for suspension: 125, 250, and 500 mg/teaspoon (5 ml).

How should I keep cefadroxil stored?

Cefadroxil should be stored at room temperature, 15 C – 30 C (59 F – 86 F). Once mixed, the suspension should be refrigerated and discarded after 14 days.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/5/2019


Reference: FDA Prescribing Information