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What is Keflex?
Keflex is a type of antibiotic. Its active ingredient is called cephalexin and it belongs to a class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins, which are used to treat many different types of bacterial infections. As with other antibiotics, such as penicillin, Keflex works by slowing or halting the growth of bacteria. It destroys bacteria by preventing them from forming the cell wall that encircles each cell. Strains of bacteria that can be destroyed by Keflex include E. coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Haemophilus influenzae.
What type of infections is Keflex used to treat?
Keflex is used to treat many different types of infections, such as skin infections, urinary tract infections, infections of the airways, infections of the bones, joints and ears, and dental infections.
How should Keflex be taken?
Keflex capsules should be swallowed whole with water.
Your doctor will calculate the precise dose for you depending on the nature of your condition. Always follows instruction closely.
The typical dosage of Keflex for adults is:
500 mg per day, with one 250 mg tablet taken twice a day or every 6 - 8 hours.
Children may be prescribed with 25-100 mg tablets each day in divided doses.
Elderly patients over the age of 65 can take the usual adult does unless otherwise advised.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember but do not double up on a dose. Always finish the complete course of Keflex as prescribed by your doctor.
Common side effects of Keflex include:
- Diarrhoea - mild diarrhoea is extremely common but usually ceases within 24 hours of starting the medication. If it continues, consult your doctor;
- Allergic reactions;
- Skin rash;
- Abdominal pain;
- Easy bruising.
Rare side effects of Keflex include:
- Kidney problems;
- Oral fungal infections (thrush);
- Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions;
- Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet levels) or a lowered red blood cell count.
If you experience any of the above or any other side effects, seek medical help immediately.
When is it not advisable to take Keflex?
You should not take Keflex if you have:
- An inflammation of the colon or large intestine;
- Kidney problems.
- A known allergy to any of the ingredients.
Keflex or cephalexin may limit the effect of BCG and typhoid vaccinations. Keflex should not be taken with BCG or typhoid vaccine unless there is no alternative.
Always disclose all details of any other medication you may be taking for unrelated conditions to your doctor.
Pregnancy / Breastfeeding / Driving / Alcohol
Keflex is not known to be harmful to babies but you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant.
It is safe to drive whilst taking Keflex.
It is not usually recommended to drink alcohol whilst taking antibiotics and Keflex is no exception.