PRECAUTIONS General Prescribing cefotaxime for injection in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Cefotaxime should be prescribed with caution in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal disease, particularly colitis. Because high and prolonged serum antibiotic concentrations can occur from usual doses in patients with transient or persistent reduction of urinary output because of renal insufficiency, the total daily dosage should be reduced when Cefotaxime is administered to such patients. Continued dosage should be determined by degree of renal impairment, severity of infection, and susceptibility of the causative organism. Although there is no clinical evidence supporting the necessity of changing the dosage of cefotaxime sodium in patients with even profound renal dysfunction, it is suggested that, until further data are obtained, the dose of cefotaxime sodium be halved in patients with estimated creatinine clearances of less than 20 mL/min/1.73 m2. When only serum creatinine is available, the following formula5 (based on sex, weight, and age of the patient) may be used to convert this value into creatinine clearance. The serum creatinine should represent a steady state of renal function. Weight (kg) x (140 - age) Males: 72 x serum creatinine Females: 0.85 x above value As with other antibiotics, prolonged use of Cefotaxime may result in overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms. Repeated evaluation of the patient's condition is essential. If superinfection occurs during therapy, appropriate measures should be taken. As with other beta-lactam antibiotics, granulocytopenia and, more rarely, agranulocytosis may develop during treatment with Cefotaxime, particularly if given over long periods. For courses of treatment lasting longer than 10 days, blood counts should therefore be monitored. Cefotaxime, like other parenteral anti-infective drugs, may be locally irritating to tissues. In most cases, perivascular extravasation of Cefotaxime responds to changing of the infusion site. In rare instances, extensive perivascular extravasation of Cefotaxime may result in tissue damage and require surgical treatment. To minimize the potential for tissue inflammation, infusion sites should be monitored regularly and changed when appropriate. Information for patients Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including cefotaxime for injection should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When cefotaxime for injection is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by cefotaxime for injection or other antibacterial drugs in the future. Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible. Drug Interactions Increased nephrotoxicity has been reported following concomitant administration of cephalosporins and aminoglycoside antibiotics. Probenecid interferes with the renal tubular transfer of cefotaxime, decreasing the total clearance of cefotaxime by approximately 50% and increasing the plasma concentrations of cefotaxime. Administration of cefotaxime in excess of 6 grams/day should be avoided in patients receiving probenecid (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Drug Interactions ). Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions Cephalosporins, including cefotaxime sodium, are known to occasionally induce a positive direct Coombs' test. A false-positive reaction for glucose in the urine may occur with copper reduction tests (Benedict's or Fehling's solution or with CLINITEST® tablets), but not with enzyme-based tests for glycosuria. (e.g., CLINISTIX® or TesTape®). There are no reports in published literature that link elevations of plasma glucose levels to the use of cefotaxime. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis Lifetime studies in animals to evaluate carcinogenic potential have not been conducted. Cefotaxime was not mutagenic in the mouse micronucleus test or in the Ames test. Cefotaxime did not impair fertility to rats when administered subcutaneously at doses up to 250 mg/kg/day (0.2 times the maximum recommended human dose based on mg/m2) or in mice when administered intravenously at doses up to 2000 mg/kg/day (0.7 times the recommended human dose based on mg/m2). Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category B: Reproduction studies have been performed in pregnant mice given cefotaxime intravenously at doses up to 1200 mg/kg/day (0.4 times the recommended human dose based on mg/m2) or in pregnant rats when administered intravenously at doses up to 1200 mg/kg/day (0.8 times the recommended human dose based on mg/m2). No evidence of embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was seen in these studies. Although cefotaxime has been reported to cross the placental barrier and appear in cord blood, the effect on the human fetus is not known. There are no well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproductive studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Nonteratogenic Effects Use of the drug in women of child-bearing potential requires that the anticipated benefit be weighed against the possible risks. In perinatal and postnatal studies with rats, the pups in the group given 1200 mg/kg/day of Cefotaxime were significantly lighter in weight at birth and remained smaller than pups in the control group during the 21 days of nursing. Nursing Mothers Cefotaxime is excreted in human milk in low concentrations. Caution should be exercised when Cefotaxime is administered to a nursing woman. Pediatric Use See Precautions above regarding perivascular extravasation. Geriatric Use Of the 1409 subjects in clinical studies of cefotaxime, 632 (45%) were 65 and over, while 258 (18%) were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (see PRECAUTIONS, General ).