What is Cephalexin: Dosage, Side Effects, How to use

What is Cephalexin: Dosage, Side Effects, How to use

What is Cephalexin


Cephalexin is used to cure 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). KEFLEX (cephalexin) Capsules, USP is a semisynthetic cephalosporin antibacterial drug intended for oral administration. It is 7-(D-α-Amino-α-phenylacetamido)-3-methyl-3-cephem-4-carboxylic acid monohydrate. Cephalexin has the molecular formula C16H17N3O4S•H2O and the molecular weight is 365.41.
Cephalexin has the below structural formula:
cephalexin Structural Formula Illustration
Each capsule contains cephalexin monohydrate equivalent to 250 mg, 500 mg or 750 mg of cephalexin. The capsules also contain carboxymethyl cellulose sodium, D&C Yellow No. 10, dimethicone, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Yellow No. 6, gelatin, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and titanium dioxide.nnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
Cephalexin is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It helps you by fighting bacteria in your body. Cephalexin is used to cure infections caused by bacteria, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections. Cephalexin may also be used for purposes...
Cephalexin belongs to a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins. They are simply like to penicillin in action and side effects. They stop or slow the growth of bacterial cells by preventing bacteria from forming the cell wall that surrounds each cell. The cell wall protects bacteria from the external environment and keeps the contents of the cell together, and without a cell wall, bacteria are not capable of surviving. Bacteria that are susceptible to cephalexin include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli and several others. Cephalexin was approved by the FDA in January 1971.

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How to use Cephalexin


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 their weight.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Continue to take this drug 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.
Take cephalexin exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Dosage of Cephalexin


Adults and Pediatric Patients at Least 15 Years of Age
The usual dose of oral Cephalexin is 250 mg every 6 hours, but a dose of 500 mg every 12 hours may be administered. Treatment is administered for 7 up to 14 days.
For more severe infections larger doses of oral KEFLEX may be needed, up to 4 grams daily in two to four equally divided doses.
Pediatric Patients (over 1 year of age)
The suggested total daily dose of oral Cephalexin for pediatric patients is 25 to 50 mg/kg given in equally divided doses for 7 to 14 days. In the treatment of β-hemolytic streptococcal infections, duration of at least 10 days is recommended. In severe infections, a total daily dose of 50 to 100 mg/kg may be administered in equally divided doses.
For the treatment of otitis media, the recommended daily dose is 75 to 100 mg/kg given in equally divided doses.

Symptoms of overdose


Forced diuresis, peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, or charcoal hemoperfusion have not been established as beneficial for an overdose of cephalexin.
Symptoms of oral overdose might include nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, diarrhea, and hematuria. In the event of an overdose, institute general supportive measures.

Cephalexin

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Side effects of Cephalexin


Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach may occur. If any of these effects persist or gets worse, 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 drug do not have serious side effects.
This drug 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.
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.
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.
The following serious events are some of this sort;
Hypersensitivity reactions
Direct Coombs Test Seroconversion
Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea
Seizure Potential
Effect on Prothrombin Activity 
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
little or no urination;
agitation, confusion, hallucinations; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common cephalexin side effects may include:
diarrhea;
dizziness, feeling tired;
headache, joint pain; or
vaginal itching or discharge. lopment of Drug-Resistant Bacteria 
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Drugs that may interact


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not include 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.
Although most antibiotics are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
Other drugs may interact with cephalexin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.


Can you use Cephalexin while pregnancy?


Cephalexin is excreted in breast milk. Cephalexin should be used with caution or stopped when breastfeeding.


Warnings of Cephalexin


Before taking cephalexin, tell your doctor or pharmacisttell your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, stomach/intestinal disease (such as colitis).
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor, 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.
The liquid form of this product may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. 
Cephalexin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well as they did. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.
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.
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.
Keep all medications away from children and pets.
 

Cephalexin

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