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Clin Infect Dis. 1992 Jan;14(1):56-65.

Safety profile and efficacy of cefotaxime for the treatment of hospitalized children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas, Little Rock.


Cefotaxime has been used to treat serious bacterial infections in children since 1982. With the predominant use of cephalosporins in pediatrics, reports of adverse effects of certain compounds have increased. A retrospective review is presented of 2,243 cases of children receiving therapy with cefotaxime in order to evaluate the safety profile and efficacy of cefotaxime in the treatment of serious infections in hospitalized children. Overall, 57 (2.5%) children experienced adverse reactions. These included local reactions in 6 (0.3%), rash in 28 (1.2%), diarrhea in 15 (0.97%), vomiting in 10 (0.7%), abdominal pain in 1 (0.1%), headache in 3 (0.4%), and drug fever in 1 (0.1%). No cases of hemolytic anemia, bleeding, or hyperbilirubinemia were found. Efficacy of treatment for different disease categories ranged from 90.5% to 100%. The percentage of children in any treatment group with a particular laboratory abnormality following initiation of cefotaxime therapy ranged from 0% to 2.6%, and rates of superinfection with bacteria or Candida were 0.4% to 1.7%. Cefotaxime has the distinct advantage of high rates of efficacy and low rates of complications and superinfection among children hospitalized for serious infections.

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