Cefalexin, also spelled cephalexin, is an antibiotic that can treat a number of bacterial infections. It kills gram-positive and some gram-negative bacteria by disrupting the growth of the bacterial cell wall.
The reference site for Cefalexin
WHAT IS Cephalexin?
Cephalexin (cefalexin) is used to treat infections caused by bacteria that are susceptible to the effects of cephalexin. Common infections that are treated with cephalexin include infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis) and pneumonia. It also is used for treating urinary tract, skin and bone infections.
This medication belongs to a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins. They are similar to penicillin in action and side effects. They work by stoping or slowing the growth of bacterial cells by preventing bacteria from forming in the cell wall that surrounds each cell. The cell wall protects bacteria from the external environment and keeps the contents of the cell together. Without a cell wall bacteria are not able to survive. Bacteria that are susceptible to cephalexin include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli and several others.
It is marketed by generic pharmaceutical manufacturers under a wide range of brand names including Apo-Cephalex®, Biocef®, Cefanox®, Ceporex®, Cilex®, Keflet®, Keflex®, Keforal®, Keftab®, Keftal®, Lopilexin®, and Panixine Disperdose®.
Brand Name(s): Biocef; Keflex; Keftab
CAS nº: 15686-71-2
(sef a lex’ in)
The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to cephalexin (cefalexin) and its correct use. Please read them carefully.
Cephalexin (or cefalexin) has received approval from the U.S. FDA.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Cephalexin (cefalexin) is used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections (including sinusitis, otitis media, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and pneumonia), skin and soft tissue infections.
Cephalexin belongs to a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins. They are similar to penicillin in action and side effects. They stop or slow the growth of bacterial cells by preventing bacteria from forming in the cell wall that surrounds each cell. The cell wall protects bacteria from the external environment and keeps the contents of the cell together. Without a cell wall bacteria are not able to survive. Bacteria that are susceptible to cephalexin include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli and several others
Although it is not generally considered first-line therapy for any indication, it is a useful alternative to penicillins in patients with penicillin hypersensitivity. There is, however, cross-reactivity in 10% of patients with hypersensitivity to penicillins and carbapenems.
Other uses for this medicine
This drug may also be used before dental procedures in patients with artificial heart valves to prevent serious infection of the heart lining.
Additionally, this medication is also for veterinary use for the treatment of bacterial infections of the skin, urinary tract, respiratory tract, bones and joints. Cefadroxil® is the most commonly prescribed, FDA approved medication used to treat dogs and cats. (However, it is a commonly accepted practice by veterinarians to use other forms of cephalosporin, such as cephalexin, which is not FDA approved for use in dogs and cats).
Despite the above, it is important that you talk to your doctor first about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.
Dosage and using this medicine
Cefalexin is commonly marketed as capsules (250 mg and 500 mg), tablets, and powder for oral suspension (125 mg/5 ml and 250 mg/5 ml). It is usually taken every 6 hours (four times a day) or every 12 hours (twice a day) for 7-10 days.
It is important to take cephalexin at evenly spaced intervals to keep a constant level of drug in the body. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Cephalexin can be taken on an empty stomach or with food or milk if it causes stomach upset.
To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of cephalexin with a dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly and before measuring a dose.
The capsules and tablets should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water.
Continue to take cephalexin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking cephalexin without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cephalexin:
Do not take cephalexin if you have ever had an allergic reaction to another cephalosporin or to a penicillin unless your doctor is aware of the allergy and monitors your therapy.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease or a gastrointestinal (digestive) disease such as colitis. You may not be able to take cephalexin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment, if you have either of the conditions listed above.
The cephalexin suspensions contain sucrose. Individuals with diabetes may need to be aware of the sucrose contained in these suspensions.
Cephalexin is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not, however, take cephalexin without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
Additionally, cephalexin passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Please take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.
It is strongly advised that you do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Possible side effects from cephalexin use may include:
abnormal liver tests and vaginitis
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
mild skin rash
a yeast infection of the mouth or vagina
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
allergic reaction(such as difficulty breathing, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, face, or tongue, hives)
rash, redness, or itching
severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
mucous or blood in the stool
unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Always try to keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the capsules and tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Keep liquid medicine in the refrigerator, tightly closed, and throw away any unused medication after 14 days. Do not freeze.
If you have any further queries, please talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, please call the local emergency services on 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
numbness and tingling in the arms or legs
PICTURES OF CEPHALEXIN PILLS