Which medications in the drug class Cephalosporins are used in the treatment of Peritonitis and Abdominal Sepsis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Cephalosporins

Cephalosporins are structurally and pharmacologically related to penicillins. They inhibit bacterial cell wall synthesis, resulting in bactericidal activity. Cephalosporins are divided into first, second, third, and fourth generation. First-generation cephalosporins have greater activity against gram-positive bacteria, and succeeding generations have increased activity against gram-negative bacteria and decreased activity against gram-positive bacteria.

Cefotaxime (Claforan)

Cefotaxime is a third-generation cephalosporin with a broad gram-negative spectrum, lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms, and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Thus, it provides excellent empiric coverage of SBP.

Cefuroxime (Ceftin, Kefurox, Zinacef)

Second-generation cephalosporin; maintains gram-positive activity of first-generation cephalosporins; adds activity against P mirabilis, H influenzae, E coli, K pneumoniae, and M catarrhalis.

Binds to penicillin binding proteins and inhibits final transpeptidation step of peptidoglycan synthesis, resulting in cell wall death. Condition of patient, severity of infection, and susceptibility of microorganism determines proper dose and route of administration. Resists degradation by beta-lactamase.

Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

Ceftriaxone is a third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum, gram-negative activity; lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms; and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Its bactericidal activity results from inhibiting cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more penicillin-binding proteins. It exerts an antimicrobial effect by interfering with synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major structural component of bacterial cell walls. Bacteria eventually lyse due to the ongoing activity of cell wall autolytic enzymes while cell wall assembly is arrested.

Ceftriaxone is highly stable in the presence of beta-lactamases, both penicillinase and cephalosporinase, of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Approximately 33-67% of the dose is excreted unchanged in the urine; the remainder is secreted in bile and ultimately in feces as microbiologically inactive compounds. Ceftriaxone reversibly binds to human plasma proteins, and the binding decreases from 95% bound at plasma concentrations of less than 25 mcg/mL to 85% bound at 300 mcg/mL.

Cefotetan

Cefotetan is a second-generation cephalosporin used as single-drug therapy to provide broad gram-negative coverage and anaerobic coverage. Also provides some coverage of gram-positive bacteria. Half-life is 3.5 h. Inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more of the penicillin-binding proteins; inhibits final transpeptidation step of peptidoglycan synthesis, resulting in cell wall death.

Cefepime

Cefepime is a fourth-generation cephalosporin. Gram-negative coverage comparable to ceftazidime but has better gram-positive coverage (comparable to ceftriaxone). Cefepime is a zwitter ion; rapidly penetrates gram-negative cells. Best beta-lactam for IM administration.


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