Antibiotic medications - cephalosporins

Medications

Antibiotic medication include:

  • Cefprozil (Cefzil)
  • Cefuroxime (Ceftin oral, Kefurox injection, and Zinacef injection)
  • Loracarbef (Lorabid)

Depletions

Probiotics

Probiotics are "good" bacteria that live in your intestine and help your body fight infections and diseases. They also may help you digest food. Two of these bacteria are called Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. If you do not have enough probiotics in your gut, you may have:

  • Gas
  • Stomach problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Yeast infections
  • Serious infections in your intestine

Insufficient "good" bacteria may potentially increase the risk of allergies and possibly even obesity.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency may include:

  • Cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • Scaly skin
  • A red and inflamed tongue
  • Swollen mouth or throat
  • Bloodshot eyes that are sensitive to light
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Low levels of folic acid have been linked to:

  • Anemia
  • Heart disease
  • Birth defects
  • Colon cancer

Symptoms may include fatigue, mouth sores, swollen tongue, depression, and poor growth.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Noticeable symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with very low levels of vitamin B12 are:

  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Anemia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Personality changes
  • Confusion

Low levels of this vitamin may also be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, brain problems, and birth defects.

Vitamin H (Biotin)

Low levels of biotin are linked with:

  • Dry skin
  • Hair that breaks easily
  • Hair loss
  • Depression or altered mental status
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain
Vitamin K

The major symptom of vitamin K deficiency is that your blood does not clot as it should. You might notice that you bruise easily or have nosebleeds or bleeding gums. Women may have heavy periods. Lack of vitamin K may also cause internal bleeding, which can be life threatening.

Editorial Note

The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be affected when you take certain medications. If you have the signs and symptoms listed, it does not always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your:

  • Medical history
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle

as well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. They can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.

Supporting Research

Ames BN. Micronutrient deficiencies: A major cause of DNA damage. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2000;889:87-106.

Bohm NM, Crosby B. Hemarthrosis in a patient on warfarin receiving ceftaroline: a case report and brief review of cephalosporin interactions with warfarin. Ann Pharmacother. 2012; 46(7-8):e19.

de Vrese M, Marteau PR. Probiotics and prebiotics: effects on diarrhea. J Nutr. 2007;137(3 Suppl 2):803S-11S.

Fitzgerald MA. Drug-induced vitamin B12 deficiency. Nurse Pract. 2007;32(9):6-7.

Hickson M, D'Souza AL, Muthu N, Rogers TR, Want S, Rajkumar C, Bulpitt CJ. Use of probiotic Lactobacillus preparation to prevent diarrhoea associated with antibiotics: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. BMJ. 2007;335(7610):80.

Hvas AM, Nexo E. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency -- an update. Haematologica. 2006;91(11):1506-12.

Isakow W, Morrow LE, Kollef MH. Probiotics for preventing and treating nosocomial infections: review of current evidence and recommendations. Chest. 2007;132(1):286-94.

McFarland LV. Diarrhoea associated with antibiotic use. BMJ. 2007;335(7610):54-5.

Moretti R, Torre P, Antonello RM, Cazzato G, Cattaruzza T, Scapicchio PL. Vitamin B12 and folate depletion: clinical evidence in a neurological population. Neurologist. 2004;10(6):338-43.

Pelton R, LaValle J, Hawkins EB, et al. Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. Hudson, OH: LexiComp, Inc.;2001:374-385.

Powers HJ. Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and health. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77(6):1352-60.

Ren X, Liu D, Ding N, et al. Safety evaluations of cephalosporins based on utilization and adverse drug events: analysis of two databases in China. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2012; 11(5):689-97.

Reynolds E. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and the nervous system. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5(11):949-60.

Saavedra JM. Use of probiotics in pediatrics: rationale, mechanisms of action, and practical aspects. Nutr Clin Pract. 2007;22(3):351-65.

Svenson J. Neurologic disease and vitamin B12 deficiency. Am J Emerg Med. 2007;25(8):987.e3-4.

Vermeer C, Schurgers LJ. A comprehensive review of vitamin K and vitamin K antagonists. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2000;14(2):339-353.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/27/2014
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed HealthCare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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