The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is often the best approach in treatment when the disease causing bacteria is unknown. By inhibiting and working against a wide range of bacteria, these medications have help treat a variety of infections diseases. Among the various broad-spectrum antibiotics in use, Cefdinir is one among the extensively used medications. Without exception, all medications result in some side effects, attributed to the mechanism of action and the ingredients in the formulations. Here is a look at the side effects of cefdinir and the best methods of mitigating the side effects.

Drug overview and side effects of cefdinir

Belonging to the cephalosporin class of medications, Cefdinir is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, used for treating various bacterial infections. Commonly known as Omnicef, the semi-synthetic antibiotic is effective in treating bacterial infections including ear, skin, throat, sinus and lungs. It is considered as an effective method of treating organisms that are resistant to first line cephalosporin treatments. Before we look at the side effects of cefdinir let’s take an indepth look at the antibiotic. Used for treating community acquired pneumonia and various acute bacterial infections including chronic bronchitis, skin diseases and tonsilitis, the medication has been in use for more than two decades. It is effectively used in treating beta-lactamase producing organisms.

Mechanism of action and side effects of cefdinir

A mentioned before, it is essential to look at the mechanism of action of the medication to understand the side effects of cefdinir. As a bactericidal agent, cefdinir has an impact on the cell wall synthesis, thereby treating infections. It works against gram positive as well as gram negative bacteria, and is effective in treating bacteria/organisms such as beta-lactamase enzyme producing bacteria and organisms that are resistant to cephalosporins. The drug works by preventing cell wall synthesis by binding with penicillin-binding proteins. It penetrates the cell wall, and prevents beta-lactamase enzymes from inactivation – consequently, cell lysis occurs, and this results in eliminating the targeted bacteria. The drug has been proven to have affinity to penicillin binding proteins, and by virtue of inhibiting transpeptidase enzymes, it delivers bactericidal action.

Commonly reported side effects of cefdinir

As mentioned above, all medications have undesirable effects. It is necessary to highlight that there are possible side effects, but not everyone is likely to experience all of the side effects. Some of the side effects of cefdinir may be experienced by individuals undergoing treatment, while others may experience other side effects of cefdinir. Similarly, the intensity of the side effects also differ from person to person and depending on the nature/intensity of the side effects it may be necessary to seek medical intervention.

Patients on Cefdinir are likely to experience bouts of diarrhea when on the medication. Other possible adverse effects include a burning sensation in the eyes, an itchy feeling in the eyes and dry eyes. There is a possibility of experiencing discharge from the eyes, with possible abnormal tearing from the eyes. Other effects include pain accompanied by swelling in the eyes, discoloration (reddish appearance) either in the eye, or the eyelids or the lining of the eyelid. Individuals are also likely to experience swelling in the mouth. Other side effects of cefdinir include cramps in the stomach or an abnormal and tender feeling in the stomach. Observed side effects that are infrequent include pain in the legs, in the back and the stomach. The possibility of bleeding from the gums exists, and similarly, individuals are also known to pass blood in urine/stools. Discoloration of the urine is an indication of blood in the urine, while others experience bleeding from the nose – this is not very frequent or common, but infrequent.

Patients have reported pain and discomfort in the chest, with some known to cough out blood or vomit blood. The adverse side effects of cefdinir on the skin include loose skin, peeling of the skin and the formation of blisters on the skin. Individuals are known to observe discoloration of the lips, fingernails and skin that may sometimes acquire a bluish tint. The skin is likely to feel cold and clammy to the touch, with visible cracks on the skin, and a stronger possibility of bruising. The color of the skin could turn pale with the possibility of formation of lumps below the skin, typically on the legs. The appearance of reddish pots on the skin has also been reported from patients. As a result of the medication, bleeding from the nose or mouth or other soft areas of the skin is a possibility.

Patients have reported difficulty while breathing and swallowing, with many having a racy heartbeat, or a pulse that is both weak yet fast. Individuals are known to experience extreme fatigue for unknown reasons, accompanied with a general feeling of discomfort. Tiredness and weakness are possible effects, while swelling of the body and headache are other effects that could be experienced. Discoloration of the stools is not only limited to a black/bloody appearance stools, but could also be clay like in color. Patients have reported severe diarrhea of a watery consistency, again with the possibility of blood in the stools. Females experience an additional set of side effects of cefdinir with heavier menstruation than normal. Patients are likely to experience high fever, and show signs of confusion as a result of the medication. Other effects that manifest physically include bloating and inflammation of the joints.

Breathing is likely to be affected, for instance, rhythm could be irregular, shallow and could either be fast or slow. A light headed feeling has also been reported, from patients, a dizzy feeling is a possibility, while some are known to experience loss of consciousness. Individuals are likely to experience a hoarseness in the voice, while some may observe that the veins in the neck are dilated. A sudden loss of appetite or disinterest in food is a likelihood, though patients are known to feel more thirst. Pain in the muscles, stiffness and spasms are reported in individuals on the medication. Abnormal loss of warmth from the body is a possibility, and individuals may have pain in the ankles/knees and joints.

Seizures are a possibility in a limited number of cases, while some patients experience swelling in the lymph glands. Despite the sudden increase in thirst, individuals find that the amount of urine decreases. A sudden increase or decrease in weight is a possibility, that is not attributed to any specific reason. The possibility of bad odor emanating from the mouth is strong as a result of the mechanism of action of the medication.

Rare side effects of cefdinir

Apart from the common and infrequent side effects of cefdinir there are rare side effects that include the following. While some of these side effects have been listed above as commonly/infrequently reported side effects, the difference lies either in the intensity of the effect or the frequency. Patients are known to have cough and/or fever due to the medication. Rigors or chills are another possibility that has been reported by patients as a rare occurrence. Pain in the chest, with shortness of breath that is either more intense or frequent has been observed in patients. A sore throat is a possibility as are the possibility of swelling in the glands. Patients experience ulcers and formation of white sots on the lips or on the mouth, due to the effects of the medication. Bleeding or bruising is known to occur in a limited number of patients, while others are known to experience tiredness and weakness. Discoloration of the stools is a possibility – though the same has also been reported as a common occurrence, it could be a rare or infrequent effect in certain individuals.

Certain side effects of cefdinir do not require medical intervention and are known to resolve naturally over the course of time. However, certain side effects may require medical attention, and this has got to do with the intensity of the effect or the nature of the side effect. For instance, individuals who experience bleeding or bruising need care and attention. Similarly, individuals who experience difficulty in breathing or who have a sudden change in breathing (racy or slow) require medical intervention to prevent the condition from turning serious. The following side effects belong to the category of undesirable effects that require medical attention.

Infrequent side effects of cefdinir

Infrequent side effects of cefdinir include the following. Females are likely to experience some pain during sex and this requires medical attention. There is a possibility of an itching sensation in the vagina or the general genital area. The likelihood of a white and thick vaginal discharge exists, with some experiencing an unpleasant odor. However, the odor is not necessarily experienced in all cases. Similarly, females are also likely to end up with vaginal yeast infections as a result of the medication.

The following side effects of cefdinir are rare in nature and may require medical attention before the condition aggravates. Patients may experience a full feeling in the stomach, alongwith heartburn. Similarly, a sour stomach accompanied by belching is also a possibility. Patients may end up with constipation that is attributed to the medications side effects, while some may have a dry mouth. The formation of excessive gas and air in the stomach and the intestines is also reported as a rare occurrence, alongwith feelings of indigestion. A sudden loss of strength may be experienced or felt by a section of individuals while others may observe the formation of rashes with lesions that are either raised or flat in nature. Sleep patterns are also affected as a result of the medication and individuals may find themselves experiencing atypical drowsiness or a tendency to fall asleep easily.

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