What is cephalexin
is an antibiotic in a class of drugs called cephalosporins.
Cephalexin fights bacteria in the body.
is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections
such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, skin infections,
and urinary tract infections.
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about cephalexin
Take all of the cephalexin that has been prescribed
for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms
may start to improve before the infection is completely
Cephalexin can be taken on an empty stomach
or with food or milk if it causes stomach upset.
What you should find out before taking
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.
Before taking cephalexin, tell 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.
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
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
How should take cephalexin Take this medication exactly as directed by your
doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your
pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
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 suspension well before
measuring a dose.
Take cephalexin at evenly spaced
intervals to keep a constant level of drug in the body.
It is important to take cephalexin regularly to get
the most benefit.
Take all of the cephalexin that
has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better.
Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection
is completely treated.
Store the tablets and capsules
at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Store the suspension in the refrigerator. Throw away any
unused medication after 14 days.
If you miss a dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then
try to evenly space the rest of the doses for that day until
you can return to a normal schedule. Do not take a double
dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your
What happens if you overdose: Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is
Symptoms of a cephalexin overdose may
include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, seizures,
numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, and muscle spasms.
Avoid while taking cephalexin There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or
activities during treatment with cephalexin unless otherwise
directed by your doctor.
Possible side effects of cephalexin If you experience any of the following serious side
effects, stop taking cephalexin and seek emergency medical
attention or contact your doctor immediately:
allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the
throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; hives; or
- rash, redness, or itching;
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- mucous or blood
in the stool; or
- unusual bleeding or bruising.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely
to occur. Continue to take cephalexin and talk to your doctor
if you experience
- mild nausea or diarrhea, or
a yeast infection of the mouth or vagina.
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 other drugs will affect cephalexin Before taking cephalexin, tell your doctor if you
are taking any of the following medicines
- a loop diuretic (water pill) such as
furosemide, bumetanide (Bumex), torsemide (Demadex), or
ethacrynic acid (Edecrin);
- warfarin (Coumadin);
- another antibiotic.
You may require a
dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment
if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
other than those listed here may also interact with cephalexin.
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription
or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals,
and herbal products.