Merck Manual

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Cephalosporins

Cephalosporins

Drug

Common Uses

Some Side Effects

1st generation

Cefadroxil

Cefazolin

Cephalexin

Given before surgical procedures to prevent infections

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

2nd generation

Cefaclor

Cefotetan

Cefoxitin

Cefprozil

Cefuroxime

Some respiratory infections

For cefoxitin: Abdominal infections

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

3rd generation

Cefdinir

Cefditoren

Cefixime

Cefotaxime

Cefpodoxime

Ceftazidime

Ceftibuten

Ceftriaxone

Given by mouth: Broad coverage of many bacteria for people with mild-to-moderate infections, including skin and soft-tissue infections

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

4th generation

Cefepime

Serious infections (including Pseudomonas infections Pseudomonas Infections Any of several types of the gram-negative bacteria Pseudomonas, especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can infect different parts of the body, particularly in people who have serious medical problems... read more ), particularly in people with a weakened immune system, and infections due to susceptible bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

5th generation

Ceftaroline

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

Ceftobiprole

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

Novel cephalosporins

Cefiderocol

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

Ceftolozane plus tazobactam

Gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea*

Nausea

Allergic reactions (more likely in people allergic to penicillin)

Kidney and liver problems

Ceftobiprole is not available in the United States.