Directly go to the content
Cefalexin (Cephalexin)

Cefalexin (Cephalexin)

Cefalexin is a relatively common form of antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by bacteria in the body. This medication will not treat viral infections like the common cold or the flu. Cefalexin is an antibiotic commonly referred to as a cephalosporin, and works by killing the pathogenic bacteria in the body responsible for infections. Cefalexin can be given for a wide range of ailments, but is only available on prescription and should not be taken without medical advice. Cefalexin, sometimes spelled Cephalexin, is a cephalosporin broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It can only be obtained via prescription.

What is Cefalexin?

Cefalexin is a relatively common form of antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by bacteria in the body. This medication will not treat viral infections like the common cold or the flu. Cefalexin is an antibiotic commonly referred to as a cephalosporin, and works by killing the pathogenic bacteria in the body responsible for infections.

 

Cefalexin can be given for a wide range of ailments, but is only available on prescription and should not be taken without medical advice.

 

When is Cefalexin used?

Cefalexin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic which works well against a wide selection of germs and bacteria. It can treat a host of commonly occurring infections, including infections of the urinary tract, skin and chest. In some cases, it may also be used for ear and throat infections and dental issues.

 

Cefalexin antibiotic tablets may be given for the treatment of pneumonia, tonsillitis or laryngitis, but your doctor will need to conduct a full assessment to determine whether your ailments are susceptible to treatment with Cefalexin. Using an antibiotic of any kind when it is not definitely needed could mean that this medication does not work for you in the future when you need it most.

 

Cefalexin antibiotic tablets may not be suitable for some people who are allergic to penicillin antibiotics, as it is based on penicillin. When taken properly, this medication will both help to get rid of the underlying infection causing your symptoms, and the side effects of that infection such as fever and pain.

 

How do you use Cefalexin?

Medications such as Cefalexin antibiotic come with a patient leaflet included in the packaging that provides you with plenty of information on how to safely take the drug and avoid any dangerous side effects. It is important to follow the instructions provided in these patient leaflets carefully, as they will give you the answers to any questions you might have about the medication.

 

Cefalexin antibiotic must be taken a number of times each day, to help build up a certain amount of the medication in your system. Your doctor or consultant may be able to advise you on the right dose for your condition. It is important to take Cefalexin antibiotic according to the instructions provided to you, and at a regular time every day for the full course of your treatment. Some people may be given Cefalexin as a strategy to prevent against recurring urinary tract infections. If this is the case, then you will likely only need to take a single dose of the medication once per day.

 

Cefalexin antibiotic can be taken either before, with or after food. Some people however find that the medication starts to work a lot faster on an empty stomach. You should check with your doctor to see whether you should be taking Cefalexin at a certain time each day. Spacing the doses evenly throughout the day will help you to get the right dose in your system at all times. If you forget to take a dose of Cefalexin, make sure that you take it when you remember, unless you know that it is time for your next dose soon.

 

Continue to take Cefalexin antibiotic at the appropriate times each day for the full course as prescribed as your doctor. Stopping your consumption of an antibiotic too early could increase your chances of the infection coming back and becoming resistant to the antibiotic, which may then require a stronger form of treatment. If you are taking the oral suspension form of this antibiotic, make sure that you shake the bottle well before use, and use only the measuring device given to you.

 

What dosages are there?

When given in pill form, Cefalexin usually comes in doses of 250 mg and 500 mg depending on the condition that you need to be treated. The dosage you get will often come every six to 12 hours, and your doctor will tell you how much you need to take based on your condition. The most common dose is one 250 mg or one 500 mg capsule taken four times per day. You should not take more than four grams of Cefalexin in a single 24-hour period. Adjusted doses may be given to children under the age of 18.

 

For the best effect of this medication, try to take it at evenly-spaced times throughout the day. It can be helpful to set alarms to remember, or to take the medication at the same time every day.

 

What are the side effects of Cefalexin?

Many doctors and medical experts consider Cefalexin to be a relatively safe form of antibiotic for the treatment of a wide range of infections. However, like all medications, it is possible that you might suffer from side effects when taking this substance. Crucially, it is important to remember that different people get different side effects to medications such as Cefalexin, and upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea or nausea may occur. If any of these effects worsen or persist, then you should seek your doctor’s advice. However, they may go away on their own as you get used to the medication.

 

Use of Cefalexin antibiotic for an extended period of time could result in a new yeast infection or a case of oral thrush. If that happens, then you should contact your doctor. Monitor for any signs of a change in vaginal discharge, white patches in your mouth or other new symptoms.

 

In very rare circumstances, this medication could cause a severe reaction in your intestines due to resistant bacteria in your system. Clostridium diarrhoea is a possible problem with many antibiotics, and can occur long after you have stopped your treatment. If you notice any persistent diarrhoea or stool with blood and mucus in it, you should speak to your doctor immediately. If you are having symptoms that include diarrhoea, do not take any drugs that are designed to reduce this problem, as they could make the issue worse.

 

An allergic reaction to Cefalexin antibiotic is rare, but it can be more common if you are sensitive to penicillin. Make sure that you get medical help immediately if you recognize the signs of any allergic reaction, including itching or swelling around the tongue, face or throat, or problems with your breathing.

 

When should you not use Cefalexin?

Although Cefalexin is a wide-spectrum antibiotic that will work for a lot of different people, it will not be suitable for everyone. You should make sure that you answer all of the questions asked by your consultant carefully and truthfully when taking Cefalexin to make sure that it is safe for you to take. For instance, make sure that your consultant or doctor is aware of whether you:

  • Have had allergic reactions to Cefalexin or any other medications. You should make sure that your consultant is aware of any reactions that you have had to penicillin or cephalosporin-based medications in the past;
  • Have problems with kidney function or any family history of problems with kidney failure and kidney disease;
  • Are pregnant, trying for a baby or currently breastfeeding. Cefalexin antibiotic is not known to be particularly harmful to babies, but your doctor will advise you if you should take this;
  • Are using other medications similar to Cefalexin.

 

If you take Cefalexin antibiotic for several days and do not see any improvement in your condition, you may be resistant to it and need a different treatment for the bacteria in your system. To make sure that you are getting the right treatment, your doctor might take samples of urine or saliva before you are given treatment.

 

Does Cefalexin interact with other medications?

Reading the patient leaflet that comes with your medication will give you a better idea of whether it is safe for you to take this Cefalexin antibiotic with other substances. It is important to remember that drug interactions can be dangerous and should be taken seriously. You should always tell your consultant or doctor before you begin using Cefalexin if you are taking any other medications. This includes non-prescription medications and herbal remedies.

 

Cefalexin antibiotic may interfere with certain laboratory tests conducted by a doctor, including urine glucose tests, and could lead to false test results. Make sure that you tell your doctor or consultant before you take any tests when using Cefalexin. Do not take Cefalexin antibiotic with other medications that contain the same active ingredients, as this could increase your risk of side effects or an overdose.

 

Where can you buy Cefalexin?

As with all antibiotics, your doctor will need to assess your clinical need. If Cefalexin is advised, then it is available to buy online through one of our partner pharmacies. However, it is only available with a prescription, so please request an online consultation.

 

Can I get Cefalexin without a prescription?

As with most antibiotics, Cefalexin is only available on prescription.

 

Sources:

BNF Nice, online, 2020, “CEFALEXIN”[Accessed 15 February 2020], Available on:https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/cefalexin.html

 

Medicines.org, online, 2020, “Cefalexin 250mg Capsules” [Accessed 15 February 2020], Available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/555/smpc

 

Patient Info, 2020, online, “Cefalexin for infection” [Accessed 15 February 2020], Available on: https://patient.info/medicine/cefalexin-for-infection-keflex