By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is cefpodoxime?

Cefpodoxime (brand names Simplicef® and Vantin®) is a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat skin infections in dogs. The bacteria that are susceptible to cefpodoxime include certain Staphylococcus and Pasteurella species, Streptococcus canis, E. coli, and certain bacteria causing urinary tract and respiratory infections.

The use of cefpodoxime in cats and for the treatment of urinary tract infections in dogs is considered off-label. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off-label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully.

How is cefpodoxime given?

Cefpodoxime is available as a tablet and as an oral suspension (liquid). Liquid forms must be shaken well before use and carefully measured. Cefpodoxime should be given by mouth with or without food. If your pet vomits after receiving the drug on an empty stomach, try giving the next dose with food. If vomiting continues, contact your veterinarian.

"Liquid forms must be shaken well before use and carefully measured."

This medication will take effect in approximately two hours, but outwardly effects may take a few days to be recognized. It is important to give this antibiotic for as long as your veterinarian has prescribed it, even if your pet appears to be feeling better. Do not stop giving this medication to your pet unless your veterinarian instructs you to do so.

What if I miss giving my pet a dose of the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give the medication at the next scheduled time and continue with the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

There are very few side effects of cefpodoxime. The most commonly reported side effects are vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and/or lethargy. If these effects worsen, become severe, or continue, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. In cats, a complete loss of appetite can occur. This is a serious side effect. If your cat stops eating, contact your veterinarian immediately as serious liver problems (hepatic lipidosis) can result.

"In cats, a complete loss of appetite can occur. This is a serious side effect."

Hypersensitivities or allergic reactions are rare but possible. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, trouble breathing, pale gums, or facial swelling.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Cefpodoxime should not be used in pets that are allergic to it or other cephalosporins or penicillins. It should be used with caution in patients with kidney disease. This medication should only be used during pregnancy if necessary and should be used with caution in nursing animals. While the significance in veterinary medicine is unknown, medications containing cefpodoxime are used cautiously in people with a history of seizures.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

Some medications interact with cefpodoxime and decrease its absorption of it. Other drugs drug interactions may occur with cefpodoxime, so it is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

If managing a pet with diabetes, cefpodoxime may interact with urine glucose tests and cause false-positive results.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

Monitor your pet to ensure that the medication is working and for any adverse effects.

How do I store cefpodoxime?

Cefpodoxime tablets should be stored in a tightly sealed container, protected from light, and stored at temperatures between 68°F and 77°F (20-25°C). Liquid suspensions must be stored in the refrigerator between 35°F and 45°F (2°C- 8°C) and discarded after 14 days.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

Most overdoses of cefpodoxime cause diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and lethargy; however, some overdoses of cefpodoxime can be more serious. If you suspect an overdose and your pet is experiencing an adverse reaction, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

Related Articles