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Cefixime is a prescription oral antibiotic that is widely used to combat a number of different types of bacterial infections. Among other bacteria, the drug is effective against Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Salmonella. Most patients see complete symptom improvement in about two weeks with one to two daily doses of cefixime. There are risks of side effects, including stomach upset and headaches, when taking the medication, but most adverse effects are temporary and mild.
Several decades of clinical research show that cefixime and other antibiotics of the class cephalosporin work by breaking down bacterial cell walls. When protective cell walls are compromised, bacteria cannot defend against natural antibodies produced by the immune system. The drug also stops replication of new bacteria by inhibiting the production of new cell membranes. Cefixime is a fast-acting agent against most bacterial ear, tonsil, throat, and lung infections. It is also used to treat urinary tract infections and certain bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhea.
The usual daily dose of cefixime is 400 milligrams to be taken in a single tablet or liquid solution with food. Some patients are instructed to take two smaller doses every twelve hours. A doctor may adjust dosage amounts and times based on a patient's specific condition, overall health, age, and other factors. Most prescriptions instruct patients to take the drug until all of the medicine is gone, usually 14 days. It is important to finish a prescription even if symptoms resolve before the two-week mark to make sure that bacteria are completely eradicated from the body.
The risk of major side effects when taking cefixime is low, though many patients do experience minor problems. The most common side effects include digestive issues such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Some people develop mild headaches, dizziness, or bouts of lightheadedness after taking the drug. An allergic reaction may occur as well that causes fever, a spreading skin rash, and throat and tongue swelling. Most side effects go away on their own within a few minutes or hours, though lasting problems or allergic responses generally require medical attention.
Most people who follow their doctors' instructions and attend scheduled checkups experience quick, full recoveries. Additional medications and patient advice may be provided after finishing a course of treatment to reduce the chances of recurring infections. Patients who fail to get better despite taking cefixime and those who experience major adverse reactions may need to try different types of antibiotics.