Home Medicines Cefaclor: effect, areas of application, side effects

Cefaclor: effect, areas of application, side effects

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 251 views

Cefaclor is an antibiotic from the group of cephalosporins. It belongs to group 1 of the cephalosporins and is effective against gram-positive and partially gram-negative pathogens. Here you can read more about the effects and use of cefaclor, side effects and other important facts.

This is how cefaclor works

Like other cephalosporins, the antibiotic cefaclor acts against bacteria. These are divided into gram-positive bacteria (which can be stained with a specific stain under the microscope) and gram-negative bacteria (which cannot be stained). The reason for the different stainability are differences in the structure of the bacterial cell wall.

In order to be able to grow and multiply (divide), bacteria have to dissolve their cell wall at certain points with the help of certain enzymes and rebuild and network them after growth is complete. This constant process ensures that bacteria can usually adapt very well to different environmental conditions.

Cefaclor inhibits the bacterial enzymes that are responsible for rebuilding the cell wall. As a result, the bacteria die. So cefaclor has a bactericidal (bacteria-killing) effect.

intake, degradation and excretion

After ingestion, cefaclor is largely absorbed into the blood in the upper part of the intestine and reaches its highest blood level after an hour. It spreads quickly in the tissue, so that after four to six hours no active substance can be detected in the blood.

Cefaclor is not broken down by the body, but when dissolved in water it is chemically unstable, producing inactive breakdown products. Excretion is mainly via the kidneys with the urine.

When is cefaclor used?

Cefaclor works against infections caused by bacteria that respond to this antibiotic. These include many pathogens that cause infections of the respiratory tract, ears, kidneys and urinary tract, skin and soft tissue.

The medically recommended duration of use and dosage should be strictly adhered to, even if the symptoms improve quickly. Otherwise, bacteria remaining in the body can develop resistance to the antibiotic.

How cefaclor is used

The antibiotic cefaclor has a limited shelf life in an aqueous solution, which is why it is only available in the form of tablets, capsules, effervescent tablets or so-called dry juices.

Dry juices are filled with a certain amount of water before they are taken, which creates the actual cefaclor juice (actually a suspension, i.e. powder particles in liquid). As these particles sink over time and the active substance collects at the bottom, the bottle should always be swirled around before use (but do not shake, so that no foam is formed).

The single-dose dosage forms (tablets, capsules, effervescent tablets) are easier to handle in this respect.

Adults, children and adolescents over the age of ten usually take 500 milligrams of cefaclor three times a day. In the case of severe infections, the doctor can increase the dosage to up to 4,000 milligrams per day.

In younger children, the dosage is reduced according to body weight. Children under the age of six should be given a liquid form of administration (effervescent tablet or juice) as they often still have trouble swallowing tablets and capsules.

What are the side effects of cefaclor?

The active substance cefaclor causes side effects in the form of gastrointestinal complaints and allergic skin reactions (redness, itching, swelling) in one in ten to one hundred patients. Since allergic reactions can be potentially serious, a doctor should be informed.

Occasionally (in one in a hundred to a thousand people treated), side effects include sleeping difficulties, tiredness, confusion, dizziness, high blood pressure, seizures and increased blood enzyme and blood urea values.

What should be considered when taking cefaclor?


Cefaclor should not be taken if:

  • Known hypersensitivity to beta-lactam antibiotics (” penicillin “) or other cephalosporins


Taking cefaclor together with other antibiotics (such as erythromycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline) should be avoided, as the substances can interfere with each other’s mode of action.

Anticoagulants such as warfarin and phenprocoumon can have an increased effect when taking cefaclor and may cause bleeding.

If taking cefaclor causes diarrhea, other medicines may pass through the gastrointestinal tract more quickly and may not be fully absorbed. This is known, for example, with the pill for contraception, which is why, to be on the safe side, non-hormonal contraception should also be used during antibiotic therapy (e.g. with a condom).

Always tell your doctor about previous illnesses or accompanying circumstances such as pregnancy and breastfeeding! This is the only way he can select the best antibiotic for you!

age restriction

Weight-adjusted doses of cefaclor can be used after the first month of life.

pregnancy and breast feeding period

Studies have not been able to prove any harmful effects of cefaclor when used during pregnancy. According to the experts at the Berlin Charité, doctors can therefore use the antibiotic in pregnant women if it is absolutely necessary. It is one of the antibiotics of choice during pregnancy.

Small amounts of cefaclor pass into breast milk. Some manufacturers therefore recommend pumping and disposing of breast milk for the duration of therapy. However, clinical experience has so far shown no relevant side effects in breastfed children whose mothers have taken cefaclor. It’s best to talk to your doctor. He knows your case and can give you the best possible advice.

How to get medication with the active ingredient cefaclor

Cefaclor is available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in any dosage only after a doctor’s prescription with a prescription in the pharmacy. 

Since when is cefaclor known?

The cephalosporins have all been developed from a substance naturally occurring in the fungus Acremonium chrysogenum (formerly  Cephalosporium acremonium ). This natural substance was discovered in Italy as early as the 1940s and was very interesting for medicine at the time, as it is effective against typhoid fever (penicillin, which was already known at the time, is not able to do this).

As a result of chemical changes in the laboratory, many cephalosporins with improved properties have been developed in recent decades. Cefaclor was approved in Europe as early as the 1970s and is also a component of many generics.

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