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Cefdinir (oral) : Uses, Side Effects, Dose, Drug Interactions

Cefdinir, an extended-spectrum third-generation cephalosporin, is commonly used in kids. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) recommends it as an alternative agent for the initial treatment of acute otitis media in penicillin-allergic patients. One of its harmless side effects is reddish-colored heme-negative stools due to interaction with iron and iron-containing products.

Cefdinir (oral) : Uses, Side Effects, Dose, Drug Interactions


Cefdinir is an oral antibacterial drug that is effective against several parts of the body's infections. It falls in the class of medicine known as cephalosporin antibiotics. Cefidrin has a broad spectrum of activity against many gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. However, it doesn't work against flu, colds, and viral infections.

How does cefdinir work?

Cefdinir is effective against a variety of bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumonia. It does not easily break down by common enzymes. After being taken by mouth, it quickly absorbs and is removed from the body primarily through the kidneys. The half-life of cefdinir is about 1.5 hours means, it stays in the body for one and a half hours. Clinical trials have shown that it works well for respiratory tract infections like pharyngitis pneumonia, and skin infections. The side effects of cefdinir are similar to other similar medications1.

What form of dosage is available?

Cefdinir is available in two forms of dosage including:

  • Powder forms for suspension
  • Capsule

Cefdinir (oral) : Uses, Side Effects,

What should I consider before using cefdinir?

Like any medicine, your healthcare provider will decide whether you should use cefdinir according to the potential benefits and side effects. However, you need to consider the following factors including:

If you have an allergy to any medicine or cefdinir:

It’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider if you had any allergic reaction to certain medications or have other types of allergies like preservatives, dyes, animals, or foods. Read the label of the package, you are going to consume maybe it has an allergic constituent in it.

If you are a breastfeeding mother:

There are not enough studies suggesting that breastfeeding mothers can’t consume cefdinir. However, it’s crucial to ask your healthcare provider whether it is suitable for you to use cefdinir if you are breastfeeding your child.

If your child is taking cefdinir:

There is not enough data available that suggests cefdinir is not effective for kid’s treatment. However, if your child is younger than six months ask your healthcare provider before consuming cefdinir.

If you are aged:

According to studies, cefdinir can be effective in elderly individuals. However, it's important to note that elderly people are more likely to have age-related kidney issues. As a result, caution is necessary when prescribing cefdinir to older individuals and the dosage may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Drug Interactions:

As a general phenomenon, certain drugs interact with each other when used together. You need to discuss with your healthcare provider whether cefdinir can interact with any other drugs you are using for different health issues.

What drugs interact with cefdinir?

The following drugs are categorized as the interaction with cefdinir. Usually, healthcare providers don’t prescribe cefdinir with these medicines. If it is necessary to prescribe, they may change the dose or use of both or one of the medicines.

  • Gestodene
  • Ethynodiol
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Mestranol
  •  Nomegestrol
  • Norgestrel
  • Norgestimate
  • Desogestrel
  • Cholera Vaccine, Live
  • Dienogest
  • Drospirenone
  • Estradiol
  • Levoketoconazole
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Methotrexate
  • Norethindrone
  • Warfarin

Taking cefdinir with any of these medications may result in elevated risks of some side effects, but using both medications may be a good treatment for you. In this case, your healthcare provider may change the dose or how often you take one or both of the medications.

Can I use cefdinir if I smoke or drink alcohol?

You should not use cefdinir if you consume alcohol or tobacco, as it may interact with these substances. Certain types of food may also interact with this medicine. Discuss with your healthcare provider the use of your medication with food, tobacco, or alcohol.

What about other medical problems?

Certain medical problems may impact the use of cefdinir. It’s crucial to discuss with your healthcare provider if you have one of these health problems including:

How can I use cefdinir?

Strictly follow these suggestions when using cefdinir such as:

  • Take cefdinir only as suggested by your healthcare provider. Don’t consume it for a longer time than your healthcare provider prescribed.
  • Shake the oral suspension well before each dose.
  • Use a marked measuring spoon, medicine cup, or oral syringe to measure the dose. Do not use a household teaspoon as it may not hold the right amount of suspension.
  • You can use this medication before or after taking a meal. 

Make sure, to complete the entire treatment, even if you start feeling better. If you stop using the medicine too soon, your infection may not clear –up.

Can I use this medication with multivitamin supplements?

If you're consuming antacids, that contain, aluminum or magnesium, iron supplements, or multivitamins, it is not advisable to take them simultaneously with cefdinir. It is recommended to take these medications at least two hours before or after taking cefdinir. When taken together, these medicines might impede the effectiveness of cefdinir.

How much dosage should I use?

The medical problem you have

  • The amount of dose depends on:
  • Strength of the medication
  • Number of doses you take every day
  • The time allowed between doses
  • Length of time you take each day

The dosage of this medication will be different for different individuals. Follow your healthcare provider’s suggestions mentioned on the label. We are going to discuss only the average doses of cefdinir. If your dosage is different from theirs don’t change it until your healthcare provider prescribes you exactly. 

For oral dosage:

For infants aged up to 6 months, the use and dosage must be determined by your healthcare provider.

Newborns and kids 6 months up to 12 years of age: The appropriate dosage of the medication depends on your body weight and should be determined by your healthcare provider. 7 mg/ kg of your body weight every 12 hours or 14 mg/kg of body weight per day. This dosage is suggested for 5-10 days.

Note that, the maximum daily dosage of cefdinir should not exceed 600 mg.

However, your maximum daily dosage should not exceed 600 mg.

Adults and teenagers: 300 mg every 12 hours or 600 mg once a day, taken for 5 -10 days.

What should I do if I miss my dose?

If you miss your dose, take it immediately. If it is near time for your next dose, it’s better to skip this dose and take your regular dose schedule. Don’t double the doses. 

Where should I store cefdinir?

Store cefdinir, in a closed container at room temperature and keep it away from moisture, direct light, heat, and freezing temperature.

  • Keep away from the reach of children
  • Dispose of unused medication after 10 days.
  • Don’t keep expired medication or normal medication for a longer time

Discuss with your healthcare provider how you should throw away this medication you don’t use.

Side effects:

What are the side effects of cefdinir?

Like every medication, cefdinir also has some side effects. It's not necessary that you will experience all of them. If you experience any of these side effects or some of them, immediately consult with your healthcare provider.

More common and less common side effects:

A more common side effect is diarrhea. Whereas, some side effects occur but don’t need any medical assistance. Might be possible these side effects go away on their own during treatment as your body regulates the medication. Your health expert may suggest how you can reduce some of these symptoms. Directly talk to them and take proper guidance. These less common side effects are:

  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Itching of the genital or vaginal area
  • White, thick vaginal discharge with a mild smell or no smell

What are the rare side effects of cefdinir?

The rare side effects of cefdinir are:

  • Feeling of full
  • Belching
  • Dry mouth
  • Sour or acidic stomach
  • Increased white or clear discharge
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Excess gas in the intestine or stomach
  • Loss or lack of strength
  • Increased body movement
  • Indigestion
  • Unable to sleep
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • Redness or soreness around the toenail or fingernail
  • Unusual drowsiness or sleepiness

Whereas, rare side effects are

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • White spots, ulcers, or sores on the lips in the mouth
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

Occurrence not known:

  • Bloating
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling of discomfort
  • Bleeding gums
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Diarrhea, watery and severe ( may also be bloody)
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Blood in the urine or stools
  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • Bloody nose
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Cracks in the skin
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Diarrhea, severe and watery (which may also be bloody)
  • Difficult or troubled breathing
  • Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • General body swelling
  • General tiredness and weakness
  • Headache
  • Heavier menstrual periods
  • High fever
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Increased thirst
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • Itching
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Light-colored stools
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of heat from the body
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Muscle pain or stiffness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Noisy breathing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pain in the ankles or knees
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Seizures
  • Scaly skin
  • Problems with bleeding or clotting
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, arms, or back
  • Painful, red bulges under the skin (mostly on the legs)
  • Pale skin
  • Constant bleeding or discharge from puncture sites, nose, or mouth
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the lips, tongues, eyes, or face
  • Rash
  • Skin lesions in red color (often with a purple center)
  • Red, swollen skin
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • A sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the feet, lower legs, face, or fingers
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Weight gain
  • Wheezing
  • Yellow eyes or skin

If, you experience any of these symptoms or side effects, please contact your healthcare provider. For complete medical advice regarding cefdinir's side effects, you can report them to the FDA-approved help number at 1-800-FDA-1088.


What precautions should I consider when using cefdinir?

Immediate medical assistance is crucial when your side effects don’t improve within a few days or turn out worse. Cefdinir can cause diarrhea, and sometimes, it becomes severe. Don’t take any other medicine to treat the severity of diarrhea until your healthcare provider prescribes it. As diarrhea common medications may cause the diarrhea to prolong its duration or worse.

In brief, if you have any equerry about the severity, or persistence of diarrhea, its duration, worsening, and other side effects, it’s better to consult your healthcare provider or call the helpline to receive professional medical assistance.  


Cefdinir is commonly prescribed for infants who are also commonly on an iron-fortified diet. Pediatricians should expect the occurrence of red-colored stool once therapy with cefdinir is started and informed about the potential side effects that are not dangerous. This timely communication can save from unnecessary emergency room visits.

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