Cefdinir for UTI: Ten Tips You Need to Know

UTIs can be an incredibly painful problem to deal with, as well as one that usually needs medical intervention in the form of antibiotics in order to get it cleared up as soon as possible. 

One antibiotic that is often prescribed for UTIs is Cefdinir, which is a common antibiotic used to treat a range of different kinds of infections. It was also the highest-selling antibiotic of its kind back in 2008, cementing its place as a trusted and well-established antibiotic. 

But what exactly is Cefdinir, and what do you need to know about it if you are asking your medical professional to prescribe the drug to you?

In this article, we are going to be looking at ten top tips to remember when it comes to using Cefdinir to treat a UTI, as well as dive into what exactly it is. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is Cefdinir?

Cefdinir comes from a class of antibiotics known as “cephalosporins”, which are the cousins of the well-known penicillin and part of the beta-lactam family of antibiotics used in the treatment and management of bacterial infections. 

Cefdinir works by preventing invading bacteria from multiplying. It does this by forming walls around the bacteria, surrounding them, and blocking them. 

Because of this, Cefdinir is often used for other infections- as mentioned- including throat infections, lung infections, and skin infections. However, it is not able to be used to combat viral infections such as the flu or the common cold. 

10 Tips for Using Cefdinir for a UTI

Now that we have a firm grasp on what exactly Cefdinir is and how it works when it comes to treating infections, let’s have a look at ten tips to remember if you are thinking of using the antibiotic. 

1. Do Not Use Cefdinir for Your First or Second UTI or for an Uncomplicated UTI

If this is the first or second time that you are experiencing a UTI, it is best to use an alternative antibiotic. This is because Cefdinir is a strong, third-generation antibiotic, and overuse of particularly powerful drugs of this kind can lead to resistance to antibiotics in general.

If you have a simple and straightforward UTI, an antibiotic that isn’t quite as powerful is more suitable. This also goes for first-time UTIs, though of course if it is only your first or second time experiencing a UTI, and it is particularly painful, then your doctor might consider prescribing Cefdinir. 

Make sure to have a thorough discussion with your doctor so that you know what the best antibiotic would be for your personal situation. 

2. Cefdinir is Not Actually FDA Approved for Urinary Tract Infections

Whilst Cefdinir was approved by the FDA back in 1997 for infections related to the sinus, the throat, the skin, and the ears, it has not actually been approved by the FDA for urinary tract infections. That being said, Cefdinir is often used as a method of treating UTIs, even without official approval. 

Several studies have even been conducted demonstrating just how effective the antibiotic is when it comes to preventing, managing, and treating UTIs, especially in the more complicated cases. 

Even though it is not FDA-approved for this purpose, you don’t have to worry about the drug being unsuitable for a urine infection. 

3. Cefdinir and Keflex

Cefdinir and Keflex are both cephalosporin antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections and whilst they do have their similarities, they are different drugs, and it is important to remember that. 

Keflex has been known to be used before dental procedures- as well as for bacterial infections- specifically for those who have been identified as having conditions related to the heart. It is prescribed in order to prevent bacterial infections that can affect the heart, also known as endocarditis. 

Cefdinir and Keflex are also different generations of cephalosporin, with Keflex being first generation and Cefdinir being third generation. 

Later generations are usually known to be more effective when it comes to fighting different kinds of bacterial strains, and this is the case with Cefdinir in comparison to Keflex as Cefinider is known to be more effective at treating strains of E.coli, which is a bacterium most commonly known for causing UTIs. 

As well as that, Cefdinir is also more effective than Keflex when it comes to bacteria and bugs that are particularly resistant to antibiotics.

4. Common Cefdinir Side Effects

As with all medications, it is important to know what the possible side effects are so that you can recognize them.

Some of the most common side effects of the drug are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Rashes (including diaper rashes for infants who may be taking liquid Cefdinir)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Vaginal inflammation (vaginitis)
  • Flatulence and indigestion

The most common of these side effects is diarrhea, with around 15% of those who take the antibiotic suffering from it. This will start to resolve once your course of Cefdinir is complete, though. The other common side effects are far less likely to happen, with less than 5% of people experiencing them. 

There is a somewhat creepy side effect that Cegdinir can have on your digestive system too, as well as diarrhea: red poop! 

There is no need to be alarmed if you find that you are experiencing this, as it isn’t dangerous. Be aware that if you take iron supplements, you are more likely to experience this. 

5. Severe Cefdinir Side Effects

Again, it is always important to know the less common and more dangerous side effects of any medication that you need to take. This is even more important if you suffer from any underlying medical conditions, as those who have concurrent diseases or conditions are more likely to experience more severe side effects. 

Keep in mind that these kinds of side effects are rare, but it is important to make a note of them if you are planning on using Cefdinir for a UTI. 

The more severe side effects of the drug can include the following:

  • Liver toxicity
  • Renal toxicity
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Immune reaction or serum sickness
  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (a condition causing blistering and peeling of the skin)
  • C. difficile infection, which can cause severe colitis and diarrhea. 
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Low neutrophils (neutropenia)
  • Exfoliative dermatitis, which causes peeling and redness of the skin
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which causes flu-like symptoms along with blisters and a painful rash
  • Seizures
  • Kidney problems such as feet and ankle swelling, little to no urination, and shortness of breath
  • Severe flu symptoms such as chills, fever, and body aches
  • Easy bruising 
  • Unusual skin bleeding
  • Unusual skin color changes, such as sudden paleness
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Confusion 
  • Severe weakness
  • Allergic reactions such as face swelling, throat swelling, hives or trouble breathing
  • Severe skin reactions such as painful purple or red skin rashes

Make sure that you contact your doctor at once if you experience any of these symptoms following a dose of Cefdinir, as it could mean that you are dealing with a severe reaction.

6. Warnings for taking Cefdinir for UTIs

As with the side effects, it is important to know what you should watch out for when it comes to medical conditions that you might already have. You might find that Cefdinir is not the right medication for you because of this. 

Be wary of using Cefdinir for a UTI if you have or previously had any of these conditions:

  • Seizure disorders 
  • Antibiotic allergies (especially penicillin and other cephalosporins)
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Colitis

Remember to talk to your doctor about any medical conditions when discussing UTI treatment options. 

7. Avoiding Cefidinr Side Effects

There are ways that you can reduce the risks of side effects from taking Cefdinir. Let’s look at some useful tips when it comes to reducing your chances of dealing with these side effects

  • Don’t skip your doses!
  • Take the medication exactly as directed.
  • Take the medication with food to avoid any unnecessary abdominal discomfort.
  • Store the antibiotic properly.
  • Avoid certain supplements- such as iron and magnesium- and antacids, as these can sometimes interfere with the absorption of Cefdinir in the body. 
  • Only stop taking your doses if instructed to by your healthcare provider.
  • If you are not told to stop your dosage prematurely by your doctor, finish the course of medicine until completion.
  • Have a thorough discussion with a doctor about any other medications that you are taking, as well as what other medical conditions you might have. 

Following these points should help to reduce the chance of any nasty side effects when taking Cefdinir. 

8. Quickly Recovering from Possible Cefdinir Side Effects

If you find that, despite your best efforts, you still end up dealing with some of the side effects of Cefdinir, then there are ways that you can encourage fast recovery following your course of medication. 

Keep in mind that this only applies to the less severe side effects, as the more severe ones will need immediate medical attention. 

Diarrhea and yeast infections are the most common side effects of Cefdinir due to the effect that the medicine has on both the bad and the good bacteria in the body, so a good way to promote speedy recovery from these kinds of issues is to take probiotics aimed at encouraging a healthy gut. 

Probiotics will aid with the replenishment of the good bacteria in the gut or- if it is a yeast infection you are dealing with- the vagina. 

9. Other Drugs that Might Interact with Cefdinir

This is something that we touched on briefly earlier, but it is important to know exactly what other kinds of drugs can interact with Cefdinir. These can include vitamins and supplements, as well as other medications. Let’s have a look at the most common drugs that interact with Cefdinir:

  • Hormonal Contraceptives: Cefdinir might decrease the effectiveness of certain birth control
  • Antacids and Iron and Magnesium Supplements: As mentioned above, these two supplements along with antacids are particularly effective when it comes to interfering with the absorption of Cefdinir into the body. You can still take these supplements alongside Cefdinir, but you will have to take them two hours before or after you take your antibiotic. 
  • Tetracycline: Tetracycline is an antibiotic that can alter the way that Cefdnir works within the body, which can lead to a loss of effectiveness. 
  • Probenecid: This medication is used to increase the uric acid excretion within the urine and is often used to treat hyperuricemia and gout. Probenecid can increase the levels of Cefdinir in the body. 

Don’t forget to have a talk with your doctor about any and all medications that you are taking before you begin a course of Cefdinir. 

10. Boosting the Performance of Cefdinir for a UTI

If you want to improve the performance of Cefdinir, two particularly effective substances are N-acetyl cysteine (or NAC) and uva ursi. 

NAC is an antioxidant often used for lung and respiratory conditions, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties too as has been known to be antimicrobial in some situations, aiding with the disruption of biofilms (which is where bacteria will hide). 

A lot of the same bugs that cause respiratory infections are similar to the ones that cause UTIs, so they are definitely worth chatting to your doctor about if you are suffering from a UTI. 

Uva ursi is a species of plant that can help with tempering inflammation as well as reducing the bacteria in the urine, making it a perfect choice for boosting your UTI antibiotics.

As with everything else that we have discussed here, make sure to talk to your doctor first before you begin taking either NAC or uva ursi alongside your antibiotics!

How Can DrHouse Help You?

At DrHouse, we understand how uncomfortable and inconvenient UTIs can be. That’s why our online platform makes it easy to get the help you need without having to wait around in a doctor’s office or pharmacy.

We offer on-demand online doctor visits 24/7 – no appointment necessary. Our clinicians can diagnose and treat UTIs, as well as prescribe UTI antibiotics. We can also consult you on any questions, concerns, side effects, and more.

So if you’re suffering from a UTI and need to get antibiotics, remember that DrHouse is here to provide fast and effective treatment. Get the help you need today!

Final Thoughts

So there you have a wealth of information regarding taking Cefidinir for a UTI thanks to our tips!

Our list is intended to help you feel a little more aware of everything you need to know when it comes to taking this antibiotic for a urinary tract infection, but make sure that you have a detailed discussion with a doctor before you receive a prescription so that you can be sure that Cefindinir is the right antibiotic for you. 

Doing so is sure to help you on your way to ridding yourself of that unwelcome UTI in no time!


Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.



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