- Medication type: Antibiotic
- Form: Tablet, Suspension
- Prescription required? Yes
- FDA approved? Yes
- Life stage: All
- Brand names: Simplicef, Vantin
- Common names: Cefpodoxime
- Available dosages: Tablets: 100mg, 200mg; Suspension: 8mg/ml
- Expiration range: Tablets are shelf-stable for a prolonged period of time. Suspension must be discarded 14 days after mixing.
Cefpodoxime is a commonly-used antibiotic in veterinary medicine. It is effective against a wide variety of bacteria and can be used to treat infections in dogs. Cefpodoxime has the advantage of only requiring once-daily dosing, making it a convenient choice for many pet owners.
Cefpodoxime, known by the brand name Simplicef, is most commonly used to treat bacterial skin infections. However, this antibiotic can also be used to treat a number of other bacterial infections. It has a low risk of side effects, making it a good option for many dogs.
What is Cefpodoxime?
Cefpodoxime was initially patented in 1980, although it was not commercially available for use in human medicine until approximately 10 years later. In 2002, the veterinary drug Simplicef was released, providing a formulation of cefpodoxime that was labeled for use in canine patients. A veterinary generic version of cefpodoxime was introduced in 2013, making this drug more affordable and increasing its availability to a larger number of clients and patients.
Cefpodoxime belongs to a class of antibiotics called 3rd-generation cephalosporins. The first cephalosporins (now referred to as 1st-generation cephalosporins) were developed in the 1960s, in order to overcome antibiotic resistance that bacteria had developed in response to penicillin. These cephalosporins worked similarly to penicillin, but were more effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Although these early cephalosporins were a significant improvement over penicillin, bacteria continued to evolve and soon developed new methods of resistance. Therefore, 2nd-generation and 3rd-generation cephalosporins were introduced to offer a broader spectrum of activity against bacteria that may be resistant to other antibiotics.
Cefpodoxime is now widely used by small animal veterinarians. It is effective against a wide variety of bacterial infections and the convenience of once-daily dosing helps ensure that pets receive all recommended doses of their medication.
Almost all veterinary clinics in the United States carry Simplicef or the generic formulation of cefpodoxime and prescribe it to their patients when appropriate.
What Does Cefpodoxime Look Like?
Cefpodoxime is most commonly administered as an oral tablet. Simplicef, the name brand formulation, comes as an orange, oval tablet that is scored down the center. Generic versions are also often oval shaped and may be orange or red in color, but appearance may vary depending upon the manufacturer.
Cefpodoxime is also available in a suspension formulation, although this is less commonly used. Cefpodoxime suspension is supplied as a powder, which must be mixed with water.
How Does Cefpodoxime Work?
Cefpodoxime kills susceptible bacteria by damaging the cell wall. It is very resistant to breakdown by bacterial enzymes, which makes it effective in many cases where other antibiotics, such as penicillin or cephalexin, would not be effective.
What Does Cefpodoxime Treat in Dogs?
Cefpodoxime is used to treat a variety of infections in dogs and puppies over 18 days old. The most common use of cefpodoxime is the treatment of bacterial skin infections. However, cefpodoxime’s broad spectrum and ability to reach many areas of the body make it a good option to use for the treatment of a number of different infections.
Dog conditions that are commonly treated with cefpodoxime include:
- Skin infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Upper respiratory infection (such as kennel cough)
- Middle ear infection
Cefpodoxime Side Effects in Dogs
Like any medication, cefpodoxime can cause side effects in dogs. Fortunately, these side effects are rare. A small percentage of dogs taking this medication will experience gastrointestinal upset. This effect can typically be minimized by giving cefpodoxime with a full meal. In very rare circumstances, dogs may experience an allergic reaction to cefpodoxime that may vary from mild to severe.
Cefpodoxime side effects for dogs may include:
- Decreased appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Facial swelling
If your pet experiences significant side effects due to cefpodoxime, contact your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your pet.
Reactions With Other Drugs and Medications
Cefpodoxime should not be taken within two hours of giving your dog antacids, as the use of antacids may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb cefpodoxime. Additionally, cefpodoxime should not be given with a particular class of antibiotics known as aminoglycosides.
Cefpodoxime is safe to give with your dog’s monthly flea or heartworm prevention, as well as with most other medications. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
Cefpodoxime Dosages for Dogs
Cefpodoxime is administered once a day. Your veterinarian will determine the appropriate dose for your dog, depending upon your dog’s weight and the condition that requires treatment.
It is important to give this medication as directed. Give all of the medication that is prescribed for your dog, even if his condition appears to have resolved. Stopping your pet’s antibiotic treatment early can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections.
Cefpodoxime can be given with food or on an empty stomach.
What if My Dog Misses a Dose of Cefpodoxime?
Like any antibiotic, cefpodoxime should be given on a regular schedule with no missed doses. Missing doses will decrease the efficacy of the medication.
If you do miss a scheduled dose of medication, you should give that dose as soon as possible and resume dosing your pet every 24 hours.
For example, imagine that you forget your dog’s morning dose of cefpodoxime and do not realize your mistake until that evening. What should you do? Give the medication at that time, as soon as you realize that you missed a dose. In order to maintain an every-24-hour dosing schedule, you will need to give your dog his cefpodoxime in the evening until you have completed the entire course of medication.
If your pet misses more than one dose of medication, contact your veterinarian. Depending on the details of your situation, you may be instructed to resume the medication or your veterinarian may elect to change your pet to a different medication.
Cost of Cefpodoxime for Dogs
The price of cefpodoxime can vary significantly, depending on your dog’s size and the duration of therapy that is required. A one-week course of cefpodoxime for a small dog may cost as little as $20-$30, while a prolonged course of cefpodoxime for a large-breed dog may cost $150 or more.
In general, the generic version of cefpodoxime is less expensive than the name brand Simplicef.
Cefpodoxime Storage Instructions
Cefpodoxime is typically dispensed as a tablet. This tablet can be stored at room temperature, in a cabinet or on your counter.
Cefpodoxime suspension is less commonly used in veterinary medicine. If your pet is prescribed cefpodoxime suspension, however, this medication must be stored in the refrigerator. Any unused pre-mixed cefpodoxime must be thrown away after two weeks, because the suspension form of this medication is only stable for 14 days after mixing.