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Cefoxitin Sodium

Cefoxitin sodium Prescription
Generic Name: cefoxitin (sef OX i tin)
Brand Name: Mefoxin
Physician reviewed cefoxitin patient information - includes cefoxitin description, dosage and directions.
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Cefoxitin Sodium Drug Information:

Cefoxitin is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. Cefoxitin is used to treat many kinds of bacterial infections, including severe or life-threatening forms. Cefoxitin is also used to prevent infection in people having certain types of surgery. Cefoxitin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare prOviders about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use. Learn more

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Cefoxitin Sodium Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to cefoxitin: intravenous powder for solution, intravenous solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, cefoxitin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking cefoxitin:

More common

  • Changes in skin color
  • pain
  • swelling of the foot or leg
  • tenderness


  • Agitation
  • coma
  • confusion
  • decreased urine output
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • hostility
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • stupor
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Incidence not known

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
  • back, leg, or stomach pains
  • bleeding and bruising
  • bleeding gums
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • cloudy urine
  • cough
  • coughing up blood
  • cracks in the skin
  • dark urine
  • decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
  • diarrhea
  • diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing, chewing, swallowing, or talking
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of discomfort
  • fever
  • general body swelling
  • greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • headache
  • high fever
  • hives
  • increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
  • increased thirst
  • inflammation of the joints
  • itching
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • joint or muscle pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of heat from the body
  • muscle aches
  • muscle weakness
  • nosebleeds
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pale skin
  • paralysis
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rash
  • red or black, tarry stools
  • red or dark brown urine
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red, swollen skin
  • scaly skin
  • severe tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • swollen lymph glands
  • swollen or painful glands
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual weight loss
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of blood
  • wheezing
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of cefoxitin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Red streaks on the skin
  • swelling, tenderness, or pain at the injection site

Incidence not known

  • Hives or welts
  • redness of the skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to cefoxitin: injectable powder for injection, intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution


Common (1% to 10%): Induration, pain, pain in the infused vein, phlebitis, tenderness, thrombophlebitis, vein erythema, vein exudates, vein induration

Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis occurred with IV administration.

Induration, pain, and tenderness occurred in of patients who received IM administration.


Common (1% to 10%): Maculopapular rash, rash/skin rashes, urticaria

Frequency not reported: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, pruritus, severe cutaneous adverse reactions, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, colitis, pseudomembranous colitis

Pseudomembranous colitis may occur during or after treatment.


Frequency not reported: Agranulocytosis, anemia, aplastic anemia, bone marrow depression, eosinophilia, granulocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, neutropenia, pancytopenia, positive direct Coombs test, prolonged prothrombin time, thrombocytopenia


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Acute renal failure

Frequency not reported: Elevation in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), elevation in serum creatinine, interstitial nephritis, prerenal azotemia, renal dysfunction, toxic nephropathy


Frequency not reported: Cholestasis, elevated bilirubin, jaundice, liver dysfunction, transient elevations in ALT/AST/serum alkaline phosphatase


Frequency not reported: Flushing, hemorrhage, hypotension


Allergic reactions included anaphylaxis, angioedema, dyspnea, eosinophilia, fever, flushing, interstitial nephritis, pruritus, and skin reactions (e.g., exfoliative dermatitis, maculopapular rash, rash, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria). Anaphylaxis rarely led to death.

Frequency not reported: Anaphylaxis, angioedema, other allergic reactions


Frequency not reported: Serum sickness-like reaction, superinfection


Frequency not reported: Death, fever


Frequency not reported: False positive for urinary glucose, transient elevation in LDH


Frequency not reported: Vaginitis, vaginitis candidiasis

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Seizures


Frequency not reported: Myasthenia gravis exacerbation


Frequency not reported: Dyspnea

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Cefoxitin Sodium (www.drugs.com/mtm/cefoxitin.html).