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Suprax vs. cefpodoxime: Antibiotics Side Effects, Dosage, Uses

Suprax (cefixime) vs. cefpodoxime: What’s the difference?

What are Suprax and cefpodoxime?

Suprax is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), gonorrhea, and acute bacterial bronchitis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other cephalosporin antibiotics include cephalexin (Keflex), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), and injectable forms. Suprax prevents bacteria from forming the walls that surround them that are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together; most bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Suprax is active against bacteria such as Hemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes (causes strep throat), E. coli, Moraxella catarrhalis, Klebsiella, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella, Shigella, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Cefpodoxime proxetil is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat (pharyngitis), laryngitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and skin structure or skin infections caused by susceptible bacteria. Cefpodoxime proxetil is converted to its active form, cefpodoxime, in the body, that stops bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls protect bacteria from their environment and keep the contents of the bacterial cell together; bacteria usually cannot survive without a cell wall. Cefpodoxime is effective against a wide spectrum of bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes (the cause of strep throat), Streptococcus agalactiae, Staphylococcus aureus, Hemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, E. coli, Klebsiella, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Providencia rettgeri, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.
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What are the side effects of Suprax and cefpodoxime?


Common side effects of Suprax include:

Other side effects include:


Side effects include:

Patients who are allergic to cephalosporin type antibiotics should avoid cefpodoxime. Since this drug is chemically related to penicillin, some patients allergic to penicillin also may have an allergic reaction (sometimes even life-threatening anaphylaxis) to cefpodoxime.

Possible serious side effects:

Like other antibiotics, cefpodoxime may cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis, a potentially serious bacterial infection of the colon caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile (C. difficile colitis). Patients who develop this type of colitis as a result of antibiotic treatment can have signs and symptoms of:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Shock

What is the dosage of Suprax vs. cefpodoxime?


  • The recommended adult dose for otitis media, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and urinary tract infections is 400 mg once daily or divided and given as 200 mg every 12 hours.
  • Pediatric patients (6 months and older) have a recommended dose of 8 mg/kg/day once daily or in two doses of 4/mg/kg every 12 hours.


  • The adult dose for treating pneumonia, bronchitis, or sinusitis is 200 mg every 12 hours for 10 to 14 days depending on the type of infection.
  • Gonorrhea is treated with a single 200 mg dose.

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What drugs interact with Suprax and cefpodoxime?


  • Probenecid (Benemid) may increase the blood concentration of Suprax by decreasing removal of Suprax by the kidney. This interaction sometimes is used to enhance the effect of cephalosporins.
  • Combining Suprax with aminoglycosides — for example, tobramycin (Tobradex) — produces additive bacterial killing effects but also may increase the risk of harmful effects to the kidney.
  • Exenatide (Byetta) may delay or reduce the absorption of cephalosporins. Cephalosporins should be administered one hour before exenatide.
  • Suprax may cause a false positive urine ketone test.


  • Probenecid increases the concentration of cefpodoxime in the blood. Drugs that reduce acidity in the stomach (for example, antacids, H2-blockers, proton pump inhibitors) may reduce absorption of cefpodoxime.
  • Combining cefpodoxime with drugs that reduce kidney function may increase the risk of harm to the kidney.

Are Suprax and cefpodoxime safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?


Safety in pregnancy has not been established for Suprax. There are no adequate studies in pregnant women; however, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.

Safety in nursing mothers has not been established. It is not known if Suprax is excreted in breast milk.


Doctors and researchers have not established if this drug is safe to take during pregnancy because there are'nt adequate studies in pregnant women. However, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.

This medication is excreted in human milk. The levels of cefpodoxime in human milk were 0%, 2%, and 6% of blood levels at 4 hours after a 200 mg oral dose. At 6 hours after dosing, the levels in breast milk were 0%, 9%, and 16% of the concentration of cefpodoxime in blood. Women should decide whether to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug.

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