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Cefdinir (By mouth)

Cefdinir (SEF-di-nir)

Treats certain types of skin infections, throat infections, and lung infections, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, or tonsillitis. Also treats ear infections in children 6 months of age and older. This medicine is an antibiotic and belongs to a group of drugs called cephalosporins.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to cefdinir or to any type of cephalosporin (such as cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefprozil, cefuroxime, cephalexin, Ceclor®, Ceftin®, Cefzil®, Duricef®, Keflex®).

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Shake the oral liquid well before using the medicine.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Discard any unused portion of the oral liquid after 10 days.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • If you use antacids or iron supplements (including those found in multivitamins), take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking cefdinir. Infant formulas that contain iron are safe to give to a child while he or she is taking cefdinir liquid.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking probenecid (Benemid®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease. Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to penicillin antibiotics or any other medicines.
  • Ask your doctor before you take any medicine to stop severe diarrhea.
  • If you have diabetes, you should be aware that the liquid form of this medicine contains about 3 grams of sugar in each teaspoon. Cefdinir capsules and liquid may cause incorrect results on the Clinitest® urine glucose (sugar) test. Diabetic patients should use Clinistix® or Tes-Tape® for urine glucose tests when they use this medicine.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Red or black stools.
  • Severe diarrhea or stomach pain.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Vaginal itching, swelling, or discharge.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bloated feeling, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach.
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, or headache.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Skin rash or itching.
  • Sleepiness or unusual weakness.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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