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Cephalexin

What is cephalexin

Cephalexin is an antibiotic in a class of drugs called cephalosporins. Cephalexin fights bacteria in the body.

Cephalexin is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.

Cephalexin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

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 treated.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 doctor.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

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:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; hives; or a rash);
- rash, redness, or itching;
- severe 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.

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 other drugs will affect cephalexin

Before taking cephalexin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines
- probenecid (Benemid);
- a loop diuretic (water pill) such as furosemide, bumetanide (Bumex), torsemide (Demadex), or ethacrynic acid (Edecrin);
- warfarin (Coumadin); or
- another antibiotic.

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs 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.

All prescription drugs:

A
abilify accupril accutane acetaminophen aciphex actifed actonel actos acyclovir adalat adderall adipex advair advil albuterol alesse aleve allegra allopurinol amaryl ambien amiodarone amitriptyline amoxicillin amoxil amphetamine anacin aprazolam aricept asacol aspirin atenolol ativan atorvastatin atrovent augmentin avandia avapro avastin avelox azmacort
B
baclofen
bactrim bactroban baycol benadryl bextra biaxin boniva bontril buspar buspirone
C
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D
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E
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F
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G
gabapentin gamimune gemfibrozil gemzar glipizide glucophage glucotrol glucovance glyburide glyburide guaifenesin guaifenex 
H
herceptin humalog humira hydroxyzine hyzaar  
I
ibuprofen imdur imitrex imodium inderal insulin integrilin iressa 
K
kaletra keflex kenalog keppra ketek klonopin kytril  
L
lamictal lamisil lanoxin lantus lasix lescol levaquin levitra levothyroxine levoxyl lexapro lidoderm lipitor lisinopril lithium lorazepam lortab lotensin lotrel lotrisone lovenox lupron luveris  
M
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N
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O
omeprazole omnicef orthovisc oxybutynin oxycodone oxycontin oxytrol  
P
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R
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S
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T
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U
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V
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W
warfarin wellbutrin  
X
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Y
yasmin 
Z
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