Last Revision: March 16, 2011.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Ceftriaxone injection is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria such as gonorrhea (a sexually transmitted disease), pelvic inflammatory disease (infection of the female reproductive organs that may cause infertility), meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord), and infections of the lungs, ears, skin, urinary tract, blood, bones, joints, and abdomen. Ceftriaxone injection is also sometimes given before certain types of surgery to prevent infections that may develop after the operation. Ceftriaxone injection is in a class of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
How should this medicine be used?
Ceftriaxone injection comes as a liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle). It is sometimes given as a single dose and sometimes given once or twice a day for 4-14 days, depending on the type of infection being treated. You may receive ceftriaxone injection in a hospital or doctor's office, or you may administer the medication at home. If you are using ceftriaxone injection at home, use it at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use ceftriaxone injection exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of your treatment with ceftriaxone injection. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.
If you will be using more than one dose of ceftriaxone injection, use the medication until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using ceftriaxone injection too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Other uses for this medicine
Ceftriaxone injection is also sometimes used to treat endocarditis (infection of the heart lining and valves), chancroid (genital sores caused by bacteria), Lyme disease (an infection that is transmitted by tick bites that may cause problems with the heart, joints, and nervous system), relapsing fever (an infection that is transmitted by tick bites that causes repeated episodes of fever), shigella (an infection that causes severe diarrhea), typhoid fever (a serious infection that is common in developing countries), salmonella (an infection that causes severe diarrhea), and Whipple's disease (a rare infection that causes serious problems with digestion). Ceftriaxone injection is also sometimes used to prevent infection in people who have been sexually assaulted or who have been bitten by humans or animals. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using ceftriaxone injection,
•tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ceftriaxone injection, other cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics, or any other medications.
•tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any intravenous medications or feedings that contain calcium such as total parenteral nutrition (TPN, a liquid feeding that is given intravenously to people who cannot eat or digest food).
•tell your doctor if you have or have ever had problems with your digestive system, especially colitis (inflammation of the large intestine), malnutrition (you do not eat or cannot digest the nutrients needed for good health), or kidney or liver disease.
•tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using ceftriaxone injection, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Ceftriaxone injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
pain, tenderness, hardness, or warmth in the place where ceftriaxone was injected
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
bloody, watery stools
stomach pain or bloating
nausea and vomiting
Ceftriaxone injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
If you will be injecting ceftriaxone injection at home, your health care provider will tell you where you should store it and how long you may keep it. Follow these directions carefully. Be sure to store ceftriaxone in the container it came in and out of reach of children. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your health care provider about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to ceftriaxone.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Disclaimer
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2011. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
The following brand names are from RxNorm, a standardized nomenclature for clinical drugs produced by the National Library of Medicine: