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Cefotaxime is a third-generation cephalosporin with excellent activity against Gram-negative organisms. Its uses include "serious bone and joint infections, serious intra-abdominal and gynecologic infections (including peritonitis, endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic cellulitis), meningitis and other CNS infections, serious lower respiratory tract infections (including pneumonia), bacteremia/septicemia, serious skin and skin structure infections, and serious urinary tract infections caused by susceptible bacteria." Unlabeled indications include gonorrhea, typhoid fever and other infections caused by Salmonella, infections caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus or V. vulnificus, and Lyme disease. Cefotaxime also has been used for perioperative prophylaxis. "[1]

It must be administered by intravenous injection.

In 2000, a new strain of Escherichia coli, serotype O25:H4, which demonstrates both high virulence and antibiotic resistance, was isolated in Munich. In particular, it has CTX-M beta-lactamases, or beta-lactamases against cefotaxime, previously an effective drug against gram-negative infections. It is a major source of serious urinary tract infections. [2]


  1. Cefotaxime IV: Uses, American Society of Health System Pharmacists/Medscape
  2. Johnson JR, Johnston B, Clabots C, Kuskowski MA, Castanheira M (2010), "Escherichia coli sequence type ST131 as the major cause of serious multidrug-resistant _E. coli_ infections in the United States", Clin Infect Dis 51: 286-94