What Is Cefotaxime Sodium?

Jillian O Keeffe

Cefotaxime sodium is an antibiotic, which means that it can kill bacteria. Doctors can administer it to cure infections in a variety of locations in the body, from the skin to the bones. The drug comes in forms such as tablets and injections, and the possible side effects include digestive upsets and abnormal bleeding.

A physician may prescribe cefotaxime sodium for infections of the urinary tract.
A physician may prescribe cefotaxime sodium for infections of the urinary tract.

The drug is part of the cephalosporin group of antibiotics. Specifically, it is a third-generation cephalosporin, which means that it is part of the third wave of drugs since this type of antibiotic was first discovered. Cefotaxime sodium, while it is less efficient at clearing infections caused by bacteria called staphylococci than older versions of the drug, is more efficient at killing another, larger group of bacteria called gram-negative bacteria. Specific examples of diseases that may be treated with the drug include meningitis, pneumonia and Lyme disease.

Research on cefotaxime sodium has shown that the way that the drug kills bacterial cells is to interfere with their maintenance of the cell wall. The cell wall provides structure for the bacterium and helps protect it against potentially dangerous substances in the environment. A weakened cell wall results in destruction of the individual bacterium, and clearance of the infection.

Cell wall synthesis is an essential process for the majority of bacteria, and cefotaxime sodium is therefore a useful drug for infections caused by a wide variety of infectious bacteria. The antibiotic can even attack bacteria with different types of cell wall. If any of the susceptible bacteria infect the body, the drug may be used to cure the infection.

A doctor may prescribe cefotaxime sodium for infections of the skin, the bone or the joints. Infections of the urinary tract, the digestive tract or the reproductive tract may also benefit from a course of the medication. To get the drug to the affected area, a doctor may use different forms of the medicine such as tablets or injections. An injection may be administered slowly through a vein, or in one dose into the muscle.

Most commonly, when side effects occur with the use of cefotaxime sodium, they affect the digestive tract. This includes vomiting, a pain in the abdomen, or diarrhea. Sometimes the patient suffers serious effects such as an allergic reaction or adverse effects on blood cells, which can result in abnormal bleeding or bruising. If an injection was necessary, the local area may suffer swelling and redness.

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