Drug intelligence & clinical pharmacy

Review of the new second-generation cephalosporins: cefonicid, ceforanide, and cefuroxime.

PMID 3884304


The new second-generation cephalosporins, cefonicid, ceforanide, and cefuroxime, have recently become available. These agents are generally less active against gram-positive cocci than first-generation cephalosporins and, at best, equal to cefoxitin and cefamandole against many gram-negative bacteria. Cefuroxime, however, is the most active cephalosporin for beta-lactamase-producing Haemophilus influenzae. These newer agents have superior pharmacokinetic characteristics over cefoxitin and cefamandole. Smaller doses, longer dosing intervals and, potentially, a reduction in total drug cost may be the real advantage of these agents. Open trials and a limited number of comparative studies have documented the effectiveness of cefonicid, ceforanide, and cefuroxime in the treatment of most mild-to-serious infectious diseases, although failures with cefonicid in the treatment of staphylococcal infections have been reported. Notably, cefuroxime has received approval for the treatment of common pediatric bacterial meningitis infections. Replacement of cefamandole or cefoxitin with one of these "longer-acting" agents may be cost-beneficial; however, clinicians must be on alert for the development of bacterial resistance or decreased efficacy.