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Ceclor is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the United States. Its popularity is due largely to the drug’s broad spectrum activity against a wide range of bacteria. It is highly effective against many germs that cause skin and ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis and urinary tract infections. Ceclor belongs to a class of medicines referred to as cephalosporins. These medicines were originally discovered in one of the world’s most unlikely locations. A fungus found close to a sewer outlet along the coast of Sardinia turned out to cure a number of nasty infections. From this chance observation many extraordinary antibiotics have been developed.

Side Effects and Interactions

Side effects from cephalosporin antibiotics are generally mild. Nevertheless, be alert for skin rash, itching, arthritis or joint pain, fever, fluid retention, swollen glands, diarrhea, nausea, stomach upset, or vaginitis. Headache, dizziness or confusion are unlikely, but have been reported. If this medicine has to be taken for long periods of time, your physician will probably want to order periodic blood tests.

Remember to report any symptoms or suspected side effects to your physician promptly.

Oral blood-thinners like Coumadin interact with medications related to Ceclor. Prudence suggests careful monitoring of bleeding time if these drugs must be taken together.

Special Precautions

If you are allergic to penicillin-type antibiotics, alert your physician immediately. Some people who are sensitive to penicillin may also react to Ceclor. Symptoms such as breathing difficulty, wheezing, sneezing, hives, itching, and skin rash require immediate emergency treatment. Life-threatening anaphylactic shock may produce an inability to breathe and cardiovascular collapse and can occur within minutes of exposure.

People with kidney disease should only take Ceclor under careful medical supervision. Special dosage modifications will have to be made. This medicine may also interfere with certain diabetes tests.

Prolonged use of an antibiotic like Ceclor sometimes leads to an overgrowth of fungus or resistant bacteria known as superinfection. If this occurs, the doctor may need to have you discontinue Ceclor and take a different medication.

Taking the Medicine

Although this antibiotic is absorbed more efficiently when it is taken on an empty stomach, the pills can be swallowed with food, especially if they upset your stomach. Be sure to finish the entire prescription unless your doctor directs you to stop.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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