Can I take Cefdinir for an ear infection?

cefdinir ear infection
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mandy Liedeman


Cefdinir is an antibiotic (belongs to the cephalosporin class) prescribed to treat various bacterial infections caused by different bacteria. One commonly treated infection with cefdinir is an ear infection that this medication can effectively treat.  Ear infection can include inflammation in the middle ear (otitis media) or infection development in the eustachian tubes. Cefdinir, from the third-generation cephalosporin, proved more effective against these bacterial infections and should be taken as prescribed for the specified period for complete treatment. 

For ear infections, Cefdinir starts showing improvement within 48 to 72 hours. The dose varies based on age, with 300-350mg for adults and teenagers. Cefdinir is considered safe and effective for children as well. If symptoms worsen or improve, it’s advised not to stop the antibiotic without consulting a healthcare provider.

Recurrence of ear infections post-Cefdinir treatment is common, and prolonged antibiotic courses may be necessary for relapses.

How does Cefdinir treat ear infections?

Cefdinir is an antibiotic prescribed to treat various bacterial infections caused by different bacteria. One commonly treated infection with cefdinir is an ear infection that this medication can effectively treat.  Your healthcare provider can only determine the dose, dosage, and cefdinir per the severity of your medical condition, age, and weight. 

Cefdinir functions by attaching to and inhibiting the action of enzymes essential for synthesizing peptidoglycan, a vital element of the bacterial cell wall. Classified as broad-spectrum antibiotics, they exhibit effectiveness against diverse bacteria. Cefdinir operates in a bactericidal manner, exterminating bacteria, and shares a mechanism of action akin to penicillin.

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What will be the duration of treatment with Cefdinir?

All antibiotics, including cephalosporins, should be taken by following strict compliance, and the course of the prescribed medication should be completed to avoid the development of resistance in the body. Suppose a patient doesn’t follow medication intake and stops after 2-3 antibiotics due to symptom improvement. In that case, it will result in the development of antibodies in the body against that medication, eventually leading to the ineffectiveness of drugs. 

Your healthcare provider will prescribe you Cefdinir for the duration that suits the severity of your medical condition and age. Usually, cefdinir is 10-15 days, with a maximum of 600mg daily.  

The dose can be 300mg for adults and teenagers, while for peads (children), the dose changes according to the patient’s weight. 

Is Cefdinir safe and effective for treating ear infections in children?

Cefdinir is considered safe and effective for treating various bacterial infections, including ear infections, skin infections, sinuses, throat, and tonsils. Cefdinir belongs to the third class of antibiotics and is an FDA-approved drug that works effectively against bacterial infections. 

New generations of antibiotics enter the market once they are proven more effective against a broader range of infections than their predecessors. They cover gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria with complete efficacy, which is only achieved when taken as prescribed

says Dr Richard Honekar 

How long does it take for cefdinir to work on ear infection?

When taken for an ear infection, Cefdinir starts to show its effect in 48 to 72 hours (3 days maximum), and you will be able to experience improved symptoms of an infection. 

It’s important to note that the dose and duration of treatment for ear infections depend on the nature of an ear infection and the patient’s age. 

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When should I see a doctor?

Ear infections can be troubling and lead to extreme pain, swelling, and inflammation. Different antibacterial medications or antibiotics are prescribed according to the medical condition to maximize coverage and effectiveness. Antibiotics are not over-the-counter medications and can only be prescribed by your healthcare provider after diagnosing the nature and severity of your condition. 

With time, newer and broad-coverage antibiotics, especially cephalosporins, are discovered. Cefdinir belongs to the third-generation cephalosporin that an FDA approved to be more effective than two existing generations of cephalosporin antibiotics. It’s a broad-spectrum antibiotic and treats infections like sinus and ear infections. Consult your healthcare provider for a timely diagnosis and the most suited antibiotic.  

FAQs about Cefdinir ear infection

Can I stop taking Cefdinir if my ear infection worsens?

If your ear infection worsens or improves, it’s recommended not to stop cefdinir as it is an antibiotic and should be taken until the prescribed period. Call your healthcare provider to discuss your condition if the symptoms or infection worsens. Only healthcare professionals can prescribe the correct dose or treatment course for you. 

Is it common to experience a recurrence of ear infections after Cefdinir treatment?

Yes, It is expected to experience the relapse or reoccurrence of ear infections after completing a one-time course of antibiotics. It depends on the infection’s severity and the patient’s age. Usually, antibiotics are prescribed for more extended periods for patients who have a relapse of ear infections. 

Can I take Cefdinir if I have a Penicillin allergy?

Yes, Cefdinir is usually considered safe for a penicillin allergy patient. The most prescribed antibiotics from the cephalosporin class can be consumed for different bacterial infections. It’s always good to consult your healthcare provider and pharmacist to get the best-suited medication for your medical condition. 

Can Cefdinir be used for chronic ear conditions?

Not necessarily. Cefdinir is FDA-approved for its use for acute ear infections, not chronic ear conditions. Remember that only your healthcare provider can determine the medications for your medical condition.  Cefdinir is generally prescribed for treating bronchitis, pneumonia, skin infections, ears, sinuses, throat, and tonsils. 

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Arguedas, Adriano, et al. “A multicenter, open label, double tympanocentesis study of high dose cefdinir in children with acute otitis media at high risk of persistent or recurrent infection.” The Pediatric infectious disease journal 25.3 (2006): 211-218.
  • Perry, Caroline M., and Lesley J. Scott. “Cefdinir: a review of its use in the management of mild-to-moderate bacterial infections.” Drugs 64.13 (2004): 1433-1464.
  • Sader, Helio S., and Ronald N. Jones. “Cefdinir: an oral cephalosporin for the treatment of respiratory tract infections and skin and skin structure infections.” Expert review of anti-infective therapy 5.1 (2007): 29-43.

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