What Zinacef is used for and how to use it
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Zinacef - Consumer Medicine Information

Manufacture: GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter
Country: Australia
Condition: Bacterial Infection, Bladder Infection, Bone infection (Osteomyelitis), Bronchitis, Epiglottitis, Gonococcal Infection, Uncomplicated, Gonococcal Infection, Disseminated, Impetigo, Joint Infection, Kidney Infections (Pyelonephritis), Lyme Disease, Meningitis, Otitis Media, Peritonitis, Pneumonia, Sepsis, Sinusitis, Skin and Structure Infection, Skin or Soft Tissue Infection, Surgical Prophylaxis, Strep Throat (Streptococcal Pharyngitis), Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection
Class: Second generation cephalosporins
Form: Liquid solution, Intramuscular (IM), Intravenous (IV), Powder
Ingredients: cefuroxime

Cefuroxime sodium injection 750mg and 1.5g

What Zinacef is used for

Zinacef Injection contains an antibiotic called cefuroxime, which treats infections caused by bacteria, in different parts of the body and can be used during surgery. It can be given to adults and children.

Zinacef injection belongs to a group of antibiotics called cephalosporins. These antibiotics work by either killing the bacteria that cause the infections or stopping their growth.

Zinacef will not work against infection caused by viruses such as colds or the flu (influenza).

Zinacef is used in adults and children to treat infections of the:

  • lungs or chest
  • ears, nose and throat
  • urinary tract
  • skin
  • bones and joints
  • female reproductive organs
  • brain (meningitis)
  • abdomen (peritonitis)
  • blood (septicaemia).

Zinacef is also used to:

  • treat a sexually transmitted infection called gonorrhoea
  • prevent infections during surgery.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions or if you aren’t sure why Zinacef injection has been prescribed for you.

Zinacef is only available with a doctor’s prescription.

Zinacef is not addictive.

Before you are given Zinacef

When you must not be given it

Do not use Zinacef if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Zinacef or other cephalosporins.

Do not use Zinacef if you have ever had an allergic reaction to penicillins or antibiotics known as beta lactams. You may have an increased chance of being allergic to Zinacef if you are allergic to these medicines.

Before you start using Zinacef

You must tell your doctor if:

  • you have had an allergic reaction to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics
  • you have had or have kidney problems
  • you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you are over 75 years of age
  • you are taking water tablets (diuretics), such as frusemide or aminoglycoside-type antibiotics or the contraceptive pill
  • you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines may affect the way others work. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you what to do when taking Zinacef with other medicines.

How Zinacef is given

Zinacef can be given in three ways:

  • as an injection into a vein
  • as an injection into a muscle
  • as a drip (intravenous infusion)

Zinacef must only be given by a doctor or a nurse.

Your doctor will decide on the dose and the length of time that you will receive Zinacef. This depends on the severity of your infection, your age and weight, if you are taking other antibiotics and how well your kidneys are working. Zinacef is generally given three times a day.

Zinacef is generally given alone although sometimes your doctor may prescribe it in combination with another type of antibiotic called an aminoglycoside or together with an antibacterial agent called metronidazole.

Cefuroxime is also available as an oral formulation called Zinnattm. This allows your doctor to continue your antibiotic therapy with the same antibiotic when a change from an injection to oral therapy is required.

If too much Zinacef is given (overdose)

You may experience symptoms such as convulsions.

Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 0800 764 766) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Zinacef. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

While you are using Zinacef

Things you must do

Tell your doctor if your infection symptoms don’t improve or they become worse.

Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or you are breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor what medications you are taking. Zinacef may interfere with the results of some blood tests.

Things you must not do

Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.


Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you have any problems while using Zinacef even if you do not think the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.

Like other medicines, Zinacef can cause some side effects. If they occur, they are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.

Some reported side effects are:

  • White furry, sore tongue and mouth (oral thrush)
  • Sore, itchy vagina and/or discharge (vaginal thrush)
  • Swelling, pain or tenderness at the injection site
  • Diarrhoea, feeling sick, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Severe chills
  • Sore throat or mouth ulcers
  • Tendency to bruise or bleed easily
  • Injection site pain, swelling and redness along a vein
  • Hearing loss (in children with meningitis)

If you think you are having an allergic (hypersensitivity) reaction to Zinacef, TELL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY. Symptoms include:

  • Severe skin rash, itching or hives
  • Swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Fever
  • Low blood pressure
  • Collapse

If any of these side effects persist, or are troublesome, see your doctor or pharmacist.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.

Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.

After using Zinacef


Zinacef should be stored in a cool, dry place, below 25°C.

The medicine should be protected from direct sunlight.

The medicine should not be put in the freezer.

Medicines should not be stored in a bathroom or near a sink. Heat and dampness may damage them.

The medicine should be kept in its pack until it is time for it to be used.

If the medicine is taken out of its packaging it may not keep well.

Product description

What Zinacef looks like

Zinacef is a white to faintly yellow powder to which water is added. This results in an off-white suspension. The colour of the suspension may vary sometimes.

Zincef is supplied in a vial containing either 750mg cefuroxime in packs of 5. Vials containing 1.5g cefuroxime are packed singly.


Your Zinacef Injection is supplied by:

GlaxoSmithKline NZ Limited
Private Bag 106600
Downtown Auckland
New Zealand

Ph: (09) 367 2900
Fax (09) 367 2910

Further Information

This is not all the information that is available on Zinacef. If you have any more questions or are not sure about anything, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Pharmaceutical companies are not in a position to give people an individual diagnosis or medical advice. Your doctor or pharmacist is the best person to give you advice on the treatment of your condition. You may also be able to find general information about your disease and its treatment from books, for example in public libraries.