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Cefpodoxime Proxetil

Cefpodoxime proxetil (Vantin) is an oral third-generation cephalosporin antimicrobial prodrug. A prodrug is a compound that, on administration, must undergo chemical conversion by metabolic processes before becoming the pharmacologically active drug for which it is a prodrug. Cephalosporin antibiotics are especially useful in patients who are allergic to penicillin. Cefpodoxime proxetil is effective against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial infections. 1

Cefpodoxime proxetil is similar in activity to cefixime except that is more active against S. aureus. It acts by binding to penicillin-binding proteins and thus interferes with the bacterial cell wall synthesis leading to cell death. It is rapidly hydrolyzed to its parent compound, cefuroxime. It has a half-life of about 2 hours and is administered twice daily. The newest third-generation drug is ceftibuten which is well tolerated and can be given once daily.3

Cefpodoxime proxetil is used for the treatment of pneumonia due to Streptococcus pneumoniae or Hemophilus influenzae, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, acute otitis media, pyelonephritis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, cystitis, sinusitis, and gonococcal urethritis caused by organisms susceptible to the drug. It is often used as second-line therapy.

The oral drug cefpodoxime proxetil (Simplicef) is only approved for dogs. It is used for the treatment of soft tissue infections including wounds and abscesses, superficial and deep pyoderma caused by Proteus mirabilis, Pasteurella multocida, Klebsiella, and Staphylococcus aureus. It is not active against most obligate anaerobes, Pseudomonas, Enterococcus, and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus strains 2,4.


  1. Valentino J. Stella, Ronald T. Borchardt, Michael J. Hagema. Prodrugs: Challenges and Rewards
  2. Sandra N. Koch, Sheila M. F. Torres, Donald C. Plumb. Canine and Feline Dermatology Drug Handbook
  3. Eric Michael Scholar, William B. Pratt. The Antimicrobial Drugs
  4. Simplicef



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