Why is it prescribed?
Cephalexin is used to treat infections caused by various bacteria. This material will be limited to the treatment respiratory tract infections (e.g. pneumonia, bronchitis, tonsilitis) and infections of the middle ear.
Products that have this ingredient include •Apo-Cephalex tablets •PRO-Cephalexin tablets •Lupin-cephalexin suspension •Teva-Cephalexin suspension •Teva-Cephalexin tablets •Teva-Cephalexin capsules •Auro-cephalexin tablet •
Along with its needed effects, cephalexin may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Generally, cephalexin is well tolerated and many people will not experience unwanted effects. The frequency and severity of these effects is dependant on many factors including dose, duration of therapy and individual susceptibility. Possible unwanted effects include.
- stomach ache
- appetite loss
- allergic reaction (hives, itching, rash, difficulty breathing)
- secondary fungal infection (yeast infection)
- itching in genital and vaginal areas
Cephalexin is an antibiotic medication that kills various bacteria. It works by inhibiting the synthesis of one of the building blocks needed for the bacteria to make its cell wall. This results in a cell wall that is defective and more likely to rupture. The effectiveness of cephalexin depends on factors such as dose, concentration in the blood as well as other body fluids and tissue, and the susceptibility of the bacteria. Cephalexin does not kill all types of bacteria, but only those that have a sensitivity to this antibiotic. Infections caused by bacteria that are not sensitive to cephalexin will not show improvement after taking this medication.
Taking the antibiotic repeatedly or for prolonged periods may result in bacterial or fungal overgrowth which can lead to a second infection. When this occurs, the cephalexin may need to be stopped and another antibiotic prescribed to treat the new infection.
Diarrhea often develops while taking cephalexin. This is sometimes caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut that are not killed by the antibiotic. In severe cases, this may be life threatening and would require treatment with other antibiotics. In mild cases, symptoms disappear shortly after the drug is discontinued.
There is some evidence to show that people who are allergic to penicillin may also be allergic to cephalexin and vice versa. Be sure to inform your doctor and pharmacist of any antibiotic allergy or suspected allergy that you may have had in the past. Use is not recommended in the following situations:
- allergy to cephalosporins (e.g. cefuroxime)
Caution is recommended in the following situations:
- kidney disease
- allergy to penicillin
- stomach or intestinal disease (e.g. colitis)
- prolonged, repeated therapy
False positive direct Coombs' tests (test used in detecting a type of blood disorder) may be caused by cephalexin.
Cephalexin may cause false urine test results for glucose.
Use in pregnancy: Generally considered safe for use if pregnant. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that you might be pregnant.
Use while breastfeeding: Cephalexin is excreted in breast-milk in small amounts. Generally considered safe for use if breastfeeding. Consult your pharmacist or doctor before use.