Generic name: Cephalexin - Oral
Brand name(s): Keflex
This medication is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medication is known as a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.This medication will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used before dental procedures in patients with certain heart conditions (such as artificial heart valves) to help prevent serious infection of the heart (bacterial endocarditis).
How to use
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 to 12 hours with or without food.If you are using the suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose. Measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dose is also based on weight.Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking cephalexin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penicillins or other cephalosporins (such as cefpodoxime); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, stomach/intestinal disease (such as colitis).The liquid form of this product may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: vaccines that contain live bacteria (such as typhoid, BCG).Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including Coombs' test, certain urine glucose tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
Diarrhea may occur. If diarrhea persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe/persistent vomiting, blood in the urine, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, cultures) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Store the capsules and tablets at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.Store the suspension in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep the container tightly closed. Discard any unused portion after 14 days.Different brands of this medication may have different storage requirements. Read the package labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements for the product you are using.Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.