Cefdinir vs. Cefpodoxime: What’s the difference?
- Cefdinir and cefpodoxime are cephalosporin antibiotics used to treat a variety of infections.
- The brand name for cefdinir called Omnicef and the brand name for cefpodoxime called Vantin are discontinued in the U.S.
- Side effects of cefdinir and cefpodoxime that are similar include diarrhea or loose stools, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin rash, vaginal yeast infection, vaginitis, or headache.
- Side effects of cefdinir that are different from cefpodoxime include rare side effects such as abnormal liver tests, abnormal stool, constipation, and dry mouth.
- Side effects of cefpodoxime that are different from cefdinir include diaper rash, fever, muscle pain, allergic reactions, itching, dizziness, or insomnia
- Like most antibiotics, cefdinir or cefpodoxime may cause pseudomembranous colitis (Clostridium difficile colitis), a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon.
- People allergic to penicillin-type antibiotics may also be allergic to cefdinir or cefpodoxime. Serious but rare allergic reactions include seizures, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and low platelet or red blood cell count.
What is Cefdinir? What is Cefpodoxime?
Cefdinir and cefpodoxime are cephalosporin antibiotics used to treat infections caused by susceptible bacteria in the middle ear (otitis media), throat (strep throat), tonsils (tonsillitis), larynx (laryngitis), sinuses (sinusitis), lungs (pneumonia), bronchi (bronchitis), and skin and other soft tissues. Other cephalosporin antibiotics include cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefixime (Suprax), cefuroxime (Zinacef), and cefprozil (Cefzil).
What are the side effects of cefdinir and cefpodoxime?
- Cefdinir generally is well tolerated. The most common side effects are:
- Rare side effects include:
- Cefdinir may cause false test results with some tests for sugar in the urine.
- Like most antibiotics, cefdinir may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis (Clostridium difficile colitis), a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon. Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting cefdinir (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.
- Persons who are allergic to the penicillin class of antibiotics, for example, amoxicillin, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (Augmentin), which are related to cephalosporins, may or may not be allergic to cephalosporins.
Side effects include:
Cefpodoxime should be avoided by patients who are allergic to cephalosporin type antibiotics. Since this drug is chemically related to penicillin, some patients allergic to penicillin also may have an allergic reaction (sometimes even life-threatening anaphylaxis) to cefpodoxime.
Possible serious side effects
Like other antibiotics, cefpodoxime may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis, a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile (C. difficile colitis). Patients who develop this type of colitis as a result of antibiotic treatment can have signs and symptoms of:
- Abdominal pain
What is the dosage of cefdinir vs. cefpodoxime?
- Cefdinir is taken once or twice daily, depending on the type and severity of the infection.
- The capsules or suspension can be taken with or without food.
- Patients with advanced kidney disease may need to take lower doses to prevent accumulation of cefdinir since it is eliminated from the body by the kidneys.
- For adult infections, the usual dose is 300 mg every 12 hours or 600 mg per day for 5-10 days depending on the nature and severity of the infection.
- The recommended dose for children 6 months to 12 years of age is 7 mg/kg every 12 hours or 14 mg/kg per day for 5-10 days depending on the type of infection.
- For most infections, once daily dosing is as effective as twice-daily dosing, although once daily dosing has not been evaluated for the treatment of skin infections or pneumonia.
- The adult dose for treating pneumonia, bronchitis, or sinusitis is 200 mg every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days depending on the type of infection.
- Gonorrhea is treated with a single 200 mg dose.
- Urinary tract infections are treated with 100 mg every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days.
- The dose for skin or skin structure infections is 400 mg every 12 hours for 70 to 14 days.
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What drugs and supplements interact with cefdinir and cefpodoxime?
- Aluminum or magnesium containing antacids reduce the absorption of cefdinir from the intestine. Separating the administration of cefdinir and such antacids by two hours prevents this interaction.
- Iron supplements also reduce the absorption of cefdinir. Separating the administration of cefdinir and iron supplements by two hours prevents this interaction. There have been reports of reddish stool in patients who have received cefdinir. This could be due to the formation of a chemical complex between cefdinir and iron in the stomach.
- Probenecid increases the concentration of cefpodoxime in the blood. Drugs that reduce acidity in the stomach (for example, antacids, H2-blockers, proton pump inhibitors) may reduce absorption of cefpodoxime.
- Combining cefpodoxime with drugs that reduce kidney function may increase the risk of harm to the kidney.
Are cefdinir and cefpodoxime safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Doctors and researchers have not established if this drug is safe to take during pregnancy because there aren’t adequate studies in pregnant women. However, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.
This medication is excreted in human milk. The levels of cefpodoxime in human milk were 0, 2 and 6% of blood levels at 4 hours after a 200 mg oral dose. At 6 hours after dosing, the levels in breast milk were 0%, 9% and 16% of the concentration of cefpodoxime in blood. Women should decide whether to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug.
Medically Reviewed on 3/28/2019
FDA Prescribing Information