Cephalosporins

Overview
  • Cephalosporins are a structurally-related class of Beta-lactam Antibiotics. These antibacterials are more resistant to beta-lactamase than the Penicillin-based antibiotics. The cephalosporins are subclassified structurally into "generations" which have different antibiotic spectra. In general the lower generations offer better coverage of gram positive bacteria while higher generations offer better coverage of gram negative bacteria. However, fourth generation cephalosporins offer good coverage of both gram positive and gram negative organisms.
First Generation Cephalosporins
  • Overview
    • First Generation Cephalosporins have excellent activity against gram positive bacteria and are resistant to many beta-lactamses. However, their activity against gram negative bacteria is limited to a few organisms. These drugs are often used to cover streptococci or staphylococci when the patient has a penicillin allergy.
  • Member Drugs
    • Cefazolin, Cephalexin (Keflex), Cefadroxil, Cephalothin
Second Generation Cephalosporins
  • Overview
    • Second Generation Cephalosprins have weaker activity against gram positive bacteria but have a larger gram negative bacteria spectrum.
  • Member Drugs
    • Cefomandole, Cefaclor, Cefotetan, Cefoxitin, Cefuroxime
Third Generation Cephalosporins
  • Overview
    • Third Generation Cephalosporins have a limited gram positive spectrum but have a wide gram negative spectrum.
  • Member Drugs
    • Ceftriaxone, Ceftazidime, Cefixime, Ceftazidime, Cefotaxime
Fourth Generation Cephalosporins
  • Overview
    • Fourth Generation Cephalosporins are highly effective against both gram positive and negative bacteria. However, they must be administered intravenously.
  • Member Drugs
    • Cefepime