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Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Cephalosporins


Capsules containing 250mg cefaclor (as cefaclor monohydrate)
Capsules containing 500mg cefaclor (as cefaclor monohydrate)

Suspension containing 125mg/5ml cefaclor (as cefaclor monohydrate)
Suspension containing 250mg/5ml cefaclor (as cefaclor monohydrate)

Sugar free suspension containing 125mg/5ml cefaclor (as cefaclor monohydrate)
Sugar free suspension containing 250mg/5ml cefaclor (as cefaclor monohydrate)

Drugs List

  • cefaclor 125mg/5ml suspension
  • cefaclor 250mg/5ml suspension
  • cefaclor 500mg capsules
  • DISTACLOR 125mg/5ml suspension
  • DISTACLOR 250mg/5ml suspension
  • DISTACLOR 500mg capsules
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Treatment of the following infections when caused by susceptible organisms:
    Respiratory tract infections - pneumonia, acute and chronic bronchitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis
    Otitis media
    Skin and soft tissue infections
    Urinary tract infections (acute and chronic) - pyelonephritis, cystitis

    Cefaclor is usually effective in eradication streptococci from the nasopharynx. However, it is not known if cefaclor is effective in the subsequent prevention of rheumatic fever or bacterial endocarditis.



    250mg every 8 hours, which may be doubled to 500mg every 8 hours for more severe infections.

    Doses of 4g per day have been administered safely, to normal subjects, for twenty eight days. The total daily dose should not exceed 4g.


    Usual dose: 20mg/kg daily, given in divided doses every 8 hours. This may be increased to 40mg/kg daily in divided doses for otitis media, sinusitis, more serious infections and those caused by less susceptible bacteria.
    Maximum dose: 1g daily.

    Usual dosage schedule with oral suspension
    Children aged 5 to 18 years: 250mg every 8 hours.
    Children aged 1 to 5 years (9 to 18kg): 125mg every 8 hours.
    Children aged 1 month to 1 year (less than 9kg): 62.5mg every 8 hours.

    Asymptomatic carriage of Haemophilus influenzae and mild exacerbations of cystic fibrosis
    Children aged 7 to 18 years: 500mg every 8 hours.
    Children aged 1 to 7 years: 250mg every 8 hours.
    Children aged 1 month to 1 year: 125mg every 8 hours.


    Contraindicated. Safety and efficacy has not been established for use in infants less than one month.

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    (See Dosage; Adult)

    Use with caution in severe renal impairment. The half life of cefaclor in these patients is 2.3 to 2.8 hours (0.6 to 0.9 in patients with normal renal function).

    Patients undergoing haemodialysis
    Before dialysis give a loading dose of 250mg to 1g. The maintenance dose between dialysis sessions is 250mg to 500mg every six to eight hours.


    For oral administration.

    After reconstitution, the suspension should be stored at 2-8 degrees C and used within 14 days.


    Children less than 1 month old

    Precautions and Warnings

    Before therapy is initiated, it should be determined whether the patient has shown previous hypersensitivity to cephalosporins, penicillins, beta-lactams, or other drugs. Cefaclor should be given cautiously to patients who have shown hypersensitivity to penicillins or other drugs.

    Discontinue if allergic reaction occurs and treat the patient with the appropriate agents

    Use with caution in patients with severe renal impairment. See Dosage; Renal impairment.

    Use with caution in patients with a history of gastrointestinal disease, especially colitis.

    Consider the possibility of pseudomembranous colitis in patients with diarrhoea in association with the use of antibiotics. Mild cases usually respond to drug discontinuation, but moderate to severe cases should be treated with appropriate measures.

    Prolonged use may result in superinfection with non-susceptible organisms. If this occurs, take appropriate measures.

    May affect results of some laboratory tests. See Laboratory Tests.

    Some suspension formulations contain aspartame - use with caution in patients with phenylketonuria.

    Cefaclor may decrease the efficacy of oestrogen containing oral contraceptives.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Cephalosporins are generally thought to be safe for use during pregnancy.

    There are no adequate or well-controlled studies available for the use of cefaclor in human pregnancy.

    Animal studies have shown no evidence of impaired fertility or teratogenicity.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14-17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Cephalosporins are generally thought to be safe for use during breast-feeding.

    Small amounts of cefaclor have been detected in breast milk following administration of single 500mg doses. Average levels of 0.2micrograms/ml were detected up to 5 hours after cefaclor administration. Trace amounts were detected after one hour.

    Briggs (2011) suggests even though the small amounts of cefaclor are detected in breast milk three potential problems exist for the nursing infant, modification of bowel flora, direct effects on the infant and interference with the interpretation of culture results if a fever workup is required.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Effects on Ability to Drive and Operate Machinery

    None known

    Side Effects

    Abdominal discomfort
    Serum sickness-like reactions
    Erythema multiforme
    Monilia vaginitis
    Increase in serum ALT/AST
    Increase in alkaline phosphatase
    Increase in blood urea nitrogen
    Serum creatinine increased
    Possible alteration of laboratory tests
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome
    Positive Coombs test
    Genital pruritus
    Pseudomembranous colitis
    Facial oedema
    Oedema of the extremities (arms and legs)
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Toxic epidermal necrolysis
    Interstitial nephritis
    Cholestatic jaundice
    Aplastic anaemia
    Haemolytic anaemia

    Effects on Laboratory Tests

    A false-positive reaction for glucose in the urine may occur with Benedict's or Fehling's solutions or with copper sulfate test tablets.

    Positive direct Coombs' test have been reported with cephalosporin therapy.


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Shelf Life and Storage

    Store below 25 degrees C
    Keep containers tightly closed and protected from light

    Suspensions - pre-reconstitution
    Store at room temperature (15 to 25 degrees C)
    Keep containers tightly closed and protected from light

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: December 2012

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Medications and Mothers' Milk, 14th Edition (2010) Hale, T. Hale Publishing, Amarillo, Texas.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Distaclor 500mg capsules, 125mg/5ml and 250mg/5ml suspension. Flynn Pharma Ltd. Revised November 2005.
    Summary of Product Characteristics: Cefaclor/Keftid 250mg/ml suspension. Co-pharma Ltd. Revised July 2010.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 22 August 2017

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