What Is Ceftibuten?

Jillian O Keeffe

Ceftibuten is part of the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, which works for a variety of bacterial infections. Examples include ear infections, bronchitis and sore throats. The way the drug works on bacteria is to affect the maintenance of the cell walls, which results in destruction of the cell. Possible side effects of ceftibuten include vomiting, rash and, rarely, potentially dangerous allergic reactions.


Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria, and each different antibiotic can have a specific way of killing the bacteria. Bacteria have cell walls which form part of the structural support for the cell, and they have to maintain these cell walls if they are to stay alive and thriving. Ceftibuten actually sticks to the cell wall in susceptible bacteria, and prevents them from making more cell wall components. This results in the death of the cell, and therefore causes the clearance of the infection.

Common sites of infection that may be treated using ceftibuten are the ears, the throat and the lungs. Bronchitis, otitis media and tonsillitis are just some of the specific conditions that may be cured with the drug, but whether the drug works properly depends on the bacterial species causing the infection. Some species are immune to the effects of ceftibuten, but others are susceptible. Examples of vulnerable microbes include Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Moraxella catarrhalis.

Normally, ceftibuten is administered as an oral drug, which means that the patient has to swallow it as a capsule or a liquid. A typical regimen of treatment with this drug is once a day over the space of 10 days. This gives the drug enough time to act on all the infecting bacteria without leaving any behind to cause further infection. As the drug is an oral drug, most of the commonest side effects involve problems with the digestive system.

A patient may feel sick while taking the drug, may vomit, and he or she may also suffer from diarrhea. In addition to the gastrointestinal effects, a patient may develop a rash on the skin. As with many drugs, ceftibuten also carries a risk of allergic reaction, which is potentially life-threatening; this typically causes symptoms like problems breathing, swollen facial tissue and skin hives. Increased risk of infections of the vagina, sores in the mouth, and abnormal bleeding is also associated with ceftibuten use. People with organ disease, issues with the digestive system, or who are pregnant may be unsuitable for treatment with the drug.

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