Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013


Cephradine is a broad spectrum antibiotic effective in treating a variety of bacterial infections.


Cephradine (also known as Cefradine) is the active ingredient of Cefril.

General information

Cephradine is a broad spectrum antibiotic effective in treating a variety of bacterial infections. It is frequently prescribed to treat infections of the ear, respiratory tract (including sinusitis, middle ear infections, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia and bronchitis) and skin and soft tissue caused by caused by organisms that are susceptible to cephradine.

It is important to note that this medication is only effective against bacterial infections - if your infection is the result of a viral or fungal infection, it will be ineffective.

Antibiotic resistance - when bacteria develop the ability to defend themselves against the effect of an antibiotic - occurs frequently with many antibiotics. The most common causes for this is when patients do not complete the prescribed course in full, allowing antibiotics to recover from treatment, and by using antibiotics for non-bacterial infections such as cold and flu.

Persons who are allergic to penicillin should take cephradine with caution. Although it is not a penicillin, cross-sensitivity - meaning that you may also be allergic to this drug - may occur.

How does cephradine work?

Cephradine weakens the bacterial cell wall and allows water to enter the cell, causing cells to burst.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: cephradine is available as capsules, oral suspension and injection

What does it do? cephradine has an antibiotic action

Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low

Is cephradine available as a generic? no

Is cephradine available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 1 hour

Dietary advice: if taken with food gastrointestinal symptoms may be less

Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking this medication until you have finished the course as prescribed by your doctor - infection may recur with premature discontinuation

Prolonged use: cephradine is usually given only for short courses of treatment

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You have a kidney disease
  • You allergic other cephalosporins or penicillin
  • You are taking other medication

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is safe for use in children at the recommended dose.

The elderly: Caution is advised in the elderly as adverse effects may be more severe

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or drowsiness. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side effect


Consult your doctor



Only if severe

In all cases




stomach cramps



nausea and vomiting



rash/ hives/ itchy skin






breathing difficulties



swelling of face/ throat



fever/ sweating



bloody diarrhoea




Drug interactions


increased risk of warfarin toxicity

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

increased risk of bleeding


drugs may counteract each other

vancomycin/ aminoglycoside antibiotics

increased risk of kidney toxicity

oral contraceptives

risk of contraceptive failure


increased levels of antibiotic in body

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of an intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include seizures, severe abdominal pain and vomiting.

Recommended dosage

Adults, oral: 1-2 g/day in 2-4 divided doses

Children, oral: 10-25 mg/kg/dose every 6 hours

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.


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