Cephalexin is an antibiotic that belongs to the family of drugs known as cephalosporins. It is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. Cephalexin is most often used to treat infections of the throat, skin, ears, bladder, airways, and bones. It works by killing the bacteria that cause the infection.

What is cephalexin?

Cephalexin is a cephalosporin antibiotic (SEF, low spor in). It works by fighting bacteria in your body. Cephalexin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections. It can also be used for purposes not mentioned in this medication guide.

Important information about cephalexin

Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to cephalexin or similar antibiotics, such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Omnicef, and others. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, especially penicillins or other antibiotics, or if you have kidney or liver disease, a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis, diabetes, or if you are malnourished.

Take cephalexin for the full time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is fully treated. Cephalexin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or the flu.

Before taking cephalexin

Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to cephalexin or other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as:

  • cefachlor (Raniclor);
  • cefadroxilo (Duricef);
  • cefazolina (Ancef);
  • cefdinir (Omnicef);
  • cefditoren (Spectracef);
  • cefpodoxima (Vantin);
  • cefprozil (Cefzil);
  • ceftibuten (Cedax);
  • cefuroxima (Ceftin); o
  • cephradine (Velosef) and others.

To make sure cephalexin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an allergy to any drugs (especially penicillins);
  • kidney disease; or
  • a history of intestinal problems, such as colitis.

The liquid form of cephalexin may contain sugar. This can affect you if you have diabetes. Cephalexin is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Side effects of cephalexin

Seek emergency medical attention if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction to cephalexin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, watery or bloody diarrhea;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red dot patches under the skin;
  • little or no urination;
  • agitation, confusion, hallucinations; or
  • severe skin reaction: fever, sore throat, swelling of the face or tongue, burning eyes, skin pain followed by a spreading red or purple skin rash (especially on the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects of cephalexin can include:

  • Diarrhea;
  • dizziness, tired feeling;
  • headache, joint pain; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge

What happens if I miss a dose of cephalexin?

Take it exactly as prescribed. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a forgotten dose.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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