Bacteria continue to be a great challenge for medical sciences, especially for specialists in infectious diseases. In this sense, in the second half of the last century, multiple families of antibiotics were introduced to the market .

The largest of these are the cephalosporins, where ceftriaxone is included . For this reason, in the following article, we will talk in detail about ceftriaxone , its mechanism of action, applications, adverse effects, and contraindications.

What is ceftriaxone?

Ceftriaxone is a third-generation cephalosporin , used to treat infections in different parts of the body (as we will see later). This generation of drugs treat infections caused by gram – positive and gram -negative bacteria .

You should know: Ceftriaxone has a mechanism of action similar to that of cefotaxime , that is, it inhibits the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall .

It should be noted that ceftriaxone comes in 1 g ampoules of lyophilized powder , either intramuscularly or intravenously.

What is ceftriaxone used for?

The spectrum of action of ceftriaxone has made it popular in recent years, especially to stop a large number of bacteria and reduce the risk of developing bacteremia. Next, we will mention the most frequent uses:

1. Bacterial meningitis

Inflammation of the meninges (membranes that cover the central nervous system ) is caused by microorganisms such as neisseria meningitidis , streptococcus pneumoniae or E. coli , among many others.

Important: Treatment against meningitis must be immediate, to avoid complications such as severe encephalopathy. In children, the dose of ceftriaxone is 150 mg/kg/day every 12 hours and in neonates, 100 mg/kg/day. In adults, the entire ampoule should be administered .

2. Abdominal, respiratory, urinary and genital infections

S. pneumoniae , N. gonorrhoeae , and E. coli ( responsible for lung infection , gonorrhea, and urinary tract infections , respectively) are susceptible to the use of ceftriaxone.

To highlight: In this case , the dose of ceftriaxone varies depending on the site of the infection, its severity, the general condition of the patient and the responsible microorganism. The dose can be up to 2 g of ceftriaxone in adults .

3. Osteoarticular and skin infections

In children , arthritic infections due to Lyme disease are treated with an intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone calculated at 50-75 mg/kg body weight/day.

Note: Skin infections caused by gram- positive bacteria can be treated with ceftriaxone , although the use of a first-generation penicillin or cephalosporin, such as cefadroxil, would be preferred.

4. Postoperative infections

Ceftriaxone is also used as prophylaxis before or after surgery , reducing the risk of developing serious signs caused by superinfection of the surgically approached area. Generally, it is a single dose .

ceftriaxone side effects

Adverse effects after the use of ceftriaxone are relatively infrequent and are the same as those of other cephalosporins . Next, we will name the most common:

  • Nausea, vomiting , diarrhea .
  • Skin rashes, such as pruritus (itching) and hives.
  • Hematological alterations, such as anemia (decrease in red blood cells).

Important: In case of presenting any of the aforementioned side effects, it is necessary to suspend the use of ceftriaxone and seek medical attention for more information.

Contraindications of ceftriaxone

Ceftriaxone is generally safe to use. However, not all patients can receive this medication . Below are the most frequent contraindications:

  • Hypersensitivity to the drug.
  • Renal insufficiency (in children, the dose is 50 mg/kg/day).
  • Newborns with jaundice (high levels of bilirubin).

You should know: The doctor must be informed about the health conditions that are suffered , thus avoiding unwanted reactions and to receive more information about therapeutic alternatives.

Key Findings

  • Ceftriaxone is an antibiotic useful as a treatment for infections caused by both gram- positive and gram -negative bacteria .
  • Ceftriaxone comes in presentations of 1g ampoules , for intramuscular and intravenous administration.
  • Adverse effects of ceftriaxone are mild and very rare , including hypersensitivity reactions and blood disorders.
  • Ceftriaxone is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity or renal failure.

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