Cefpodoxime proxetil. A review of its antibacterial activity, pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic potential

Drugs. 1992 Nov;44(5):889-917. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199244050-00011.


Cefpodoxime proxetil is an orally administered prodrug which is absorbed and de-esterified by the intestinal mucosa to release the third generation cephalosporin, cefpodoxime. Cefpodoxime is stable towards the most commonly found plasmid-mediated beta-lactamases and the drug has a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity encompassing both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, rendering it a possible option for empirical use in a wide range of community acquired infections in both adult and paediatric patients. The extended plasma half-life of cefpodoxime (1.9 to 3.7 h) permits twice daily administration. In comparative trials, twice daily cefpodoxime proxetil (dose equivalent cefpodoxime 100 to 400 mg) was as effective as a 3- to 4-times daily regimen of phenoxymethylpenicillin in pharyngotonsillitis, as well as thrice daily amoxicillin (with or without clavulanic acid) or cefaclor against infections of the ear, the upper and lower respiratory tract, the urinary tract and those of the skin and soft tissues. The latter reflects the enhanced antistaphylococcal activity of cefpodoxime, which distinguishes it from other orally active third generation cephalosporins such as cefixime. Most notably, an oral regimen of cefpodoxime proxetil was as efficacious as parenterally administered ceftriaxone for the treatment of bronchopneumonia in hospitalised patients at risk due to the presence of underlying diseases, addictions or advancing age. A single oral dose of cefpodoxime was also as efficacious as ceftriaxone in uncomplicated anogenital gonococcal infections. Cefpodoxime proxetil is generally well tolerated, with mild to moderate gastrointestinal disturbances occurring in 4 to 15% of patients treated with therapeutic doses. Thus, a convenient twice daily oral regimen of cefpodoxime proxetil can be prescribed as an effective alternative to established beta-lactam therapies in the empirical outpatient treatment of infections of the respiratory and urinary tracts as well as those of the skin and soft tissues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cefpodoxime Proxetil
  • Ceftizoxime / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ceftizoxime / pharmacokinetics
  • Ceftizoxime / pharmacology
  • Ceftizoxime / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Male Urogenital Diseases*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Prodrugs / pharmacokinetics*
  • Prodrugs / pharmacology
  • Prodrugs / therapeutic use*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Prodrugs
  • Ceftizoxime