Headaches

• Hypotension

• Tachycardia (fast heart rate)

• Difficulty breathing

Some medications include alcohol and the patient should be advised to check the labels carefully if taking one of these cephalosporins.

Besides alcohol, some cephalosporins (cefamandole, cefmetazole, cefopera-zone, or cefotetan) expose the patient to an increased risk of hemorrhaging if administered with anticoagulants such as coumarin or indanedione, heparin, and with clot-busting drugs such as thrombolytics. The same adverse reaction might occur if the patient takes NSAIDs, especially aspirin, or sulfinpyrazone (Anturane) while on cephalosporins.

Probenecid (Benemid) may extend the half-life of cephalosporins and can result in toxicity. However, cephalosporins and probenecid are sometimes given together to treat sexually transmitted diseases when a high serum level and prolonged level of cephalosporins are desirable.

A patient who is undergoing treatment with cephalosporins might experience other problems. These are a fever and rash brought about by hypersensivity, an allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, renal dysfunction, serum sickness-like reaction, or seizures.

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