Cephalexin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in the upper respiratory tract.
Cephalexin is classified as a cephalosporin antibiotic. Cephalosporins, classed as beta-lactam antibiotics, are derived from a fungus called Acremonium (formerly Cephalosporium). Cephalosporins are similar to penicillin and may cause similar side effects.
Cephalexin is commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections in the upper respiratory tract such as pneumonia, in addition to ear, skin, bone and urinary tract infections.
Cephalexin is mostly effective against Gram-positive bacteria. This drug can cure bacterial infections by preventing the bacteria from forming a cell wall, which is essential for the microorganism’s survival.
Cephalexin is effective in killing Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza and E. coli bacterial colonies.
Cephalexin is available in 250 mg, 500 mg and 750 mg capsules. Inactive ingredients in Cephalexin capsules include microcrystalline cellulose, dimethicone, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, magnesium stearate, gelatin, titanium dioxide and D&C Yellow No. 10, FD&C Blue No. 1 and FD&C Yellow No. 6.
Cephalexin dosage will vary depending on the type of infection being treated and the weight of the infected person or animal. Cephalexin should only be taken as prescribed to avoid adverse effects.
The prescribed dosage should be taken every 6 hours over the recommended period of time, or as otherwise directed by the doctor.
Swallow Cephalexin capsules with a glass of water. Take necessary steps not to skip doses of Cephalexin as it can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
Cephalexin doses should be taken without halting for the recommended period of time to ensure that the bacterial infection is completely cleared. Stopping Cephalexin treatment midway or missing the final doses could cause the infection to return.
Do not take two doses of Cephalexin together to compensate for a missed dose. If a dose is missed, take it soon as you remember unless it’s time for the next dose.
Cephalexin may cause side effects. Some of the common side effects caused by Cephalexin include the following:
Diarrhea that can be watery or bloody
Severe abdominal pain
Vaginitis (vaginal inflammation)
Side effects are not limited to the above. Side effects other than the listed above could occur.
Call a doctor immediately if side effects worsen over time or persist for more than a week.
Do not take Cephalexin if allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the drug. Individuals who are allergic to penicillin might likely be allergic to Cephalexin. Do not use Cephalexin if allergic to other cephalosporin antibiotics like Omnicef, Ceftin or Cefzil.
Cephalexin may cause liver test results to return as abnormal.
Individuals who are diabetic should have blood regularly tested for sugar levels when undergoing Cephalexin treatment.
Do not share Cephalexin with others even if they have the same infection.
Cephalexin may cause adverse drug reactions with certain prescription medications, over the counter drugs, supplemental vitamins, herbal remedies and other mineral or dietary supplements. Disclose all such medications being taken to the prescribing doctor.