Cephalosporin refers to a large group of antibiotic substances both natural (isolated from the mold Cephalosporiumacremonium) and semi-synthetic (or obtained in the laboratory) that are widely used against infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria. Cephalosporin antibiotics are generally divided into "generations", which should not be considered in terms of time but in relation to their spectrum of action.


Cephalosporins act partly on the same protein targeted by penicillins. They are able to prevent the bacterial growth by interfering with the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. In fact, they are capable of binding to the transpeptidase enzymes that serve to create the bonds between the peptidoglycan chains (the polymers essential for the formation of the bacterial wall). In turn, the transpeptidase activity inhibits the stability of the bacterial cell wall, making the bacteria more susceptible to lysis and therefore, resulting in the death of the growing bacterial cells.


What is Cephalosporin?

Cephalosporin is used to treat different types of infections, even severe, caused by bacteria susceptible to their effect, such as:

  • Infections of the  superior and inferior respiratory tract: tonsillitis, laryngitis, laryngotracheitis, tracheobronchitis, acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, ear infections, sinusitis;
  • Hepato-digestive infections: cholangitis, gastroenteritis;
  • Infections of the skin and soft tissue
  • Infections of the reproductive organs, the urinary tract and the kidneys;
  • Infections of the blood caused by bacteria: bacteremia; meningitis ;
  • Infectious childhood diseases;
  • Infections in immune-compromised patients ;
  • Infections of the abdomen ;
  • Intra and post-operative prophylaxis ;
  • Bones and joints infections


How should Cephalosporin be taken?

Depending on the type of infection, Cephalosporin may be administered orally (in the form of capsules, tablets or oral suspensions) or parenterally (in the form of powder and solvent solution to be injected intramuscularly or intravenously).


Side effects associated with Cephalosporin

There are several side effects which may occur as a result from the treatment with cephalosporins. The greater the dosage of the drug injected or the longer the duration of the therapy, the more severe the side effects from this drug will be. Some of these side effects include the following:

  • Local reactions: phlebitis, thrombophlebitis, pain, hardening and brittleness at the injection site;
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain;
  • Dermatologic disorders: rash, hives, dermatitis;
  • Neurological disorders : headache, dizziness;
  • Hematologic abnormalities: eosinophilia, neutropenia, thrombocytosis, hemorrhagic phenomena;
  • Central nervous system disorders: nervousness, sleep disturbances, confusion, lightheadedness;
  • Liver function abnormalities;
  • Kidney function abnormalities;
  • Allergic reactions: itching, hives, anaphylactic reactions, hypotension, bronchospasm, laryngospasm.


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Cephalosporin

The administration of Cephalosporin is contraindicated in individuals that are hypersensitive to the constituents of this medication or medications that have similar chemical substances, especially penicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics.

Particular attention should be paid to the intake of certain cephalosporins (such as cefamandole, cefoperazone) that can interact with ethanol and in turn cause a syndrome characterized as vasodilatation (especially at the level of face and neck) with symptoms such as headache, hypotension, tachycardia, nausea and vomiting.

It is advised to consult with a doctor for use of this drug in cases involving pregnancy and breast-feeding, as well as in cases involving operating a car or dangerous machinery.