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Cephalexin (Keflex)

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Cephalexin (Keflex)

There are many different types of antibiotics on the market today that are designed to effectively treat numerous infections caused by bacteria. Because there are so many different bacterial infections out there, there is no way one type of medication can tackle them all.

In this article we will discuss a specific antibiotic that belongs to the cephalosporin family of antibiotics, Cephalexin, or more specifically Keflex.

Keflex is a strong drug that doctors prescribe to kids and adults to fight off common and not-so common bacterial infections. But before you pop the first pill, check out this article where we will discuss exactly how this antibiotic works, who it is best suited for, possible side effects, and more.

What Type of Medication is Keflex

Keflex is a brand-named version of generic Cephalexin. It is a 1st generation cephalosporin antibiotic. It is prescribed by doctors to treat a wide array of bacterial infections including but not limited to

Urinary tract infections, E coliprostatitis, middle ear infection, bone infections, respiratory infections, skin and skin structure infections. Dentists will also use Keflex to treat patients with certain heated conditions before dental procedures to prevent infections in the heart.

Cephalexin is in the cephalosporins class of drugs, working by interruptingthe cell walls formation in bacteria. This interruption kills the bacteria by rupturing its walls.

How Do You Take Cephalexin?

This antibiotic is mostly taken in oral capsule form. The dosage of Keflex will vary depending on,

  • The patients age
  • What the patient is being treated for
  • Patient’s other medical conditions
  • The severity of the condition
  • And how the patient reacts to the first dose of antibiotics.

You should take oral Keflex by mouth with a full glass of water. Most prescriptions require the patient to take one tablet by mouth every six to twelve hours for 7-14 days.

The most common dosage for adults is 250mg every six hours or 500mg every twelve hours, with some higher doses available for more severe infections.

Never take more than the prescribed dose or take the medication longer than what your doctor ordered. Always stick to the dose marked on the label, ensuring you get the most benefits with the least amount of side effects.

Side Effects of Keflex

Patients who take Keflex typically don’t notice many side effects and the ones they do are mild. The most common side affects you might experience when taking Cephalexin include,

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastritis
  • Vulvovaginal candidiasis
  • Acute abdominal pain

If any of these symptoms persist for more than a few days or worsen, contact your physician or pharmacist.

In very rare cases, Keflex can cause a serious intestinal condition that develops as a result of a resistant bacteria. Patients notice symptoms during treatment or not until weeks or months after finishing treatment.

If you have the follow symptoms after, take Keflex, do not take opioids or diarrhea medications as they will only amplify them.

Contact a medical professional right away if you start to notice sudden onset of abdominal pain or cramping, blood or mucus in stool, or persistent diarrhea.

If you notice symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to this drug, although rare, seek medical attention immediately, these symptoms include,

  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Itching/swelling
  • Rash

Note: Taking Keflex or other antibiotics for long periods of time can result in the development of a new east infection or thrush.

What Medications Interact with Cephalexin?

If you are taking medications, over the counter, prescription, vitamins, natural products, etc. talk with your doctor to ensure they are not going to interact with the antibiotic.

Some medications to be aware of include,

  • Probenecid – Can increase levels of cephalexin.
  • Metformin – Can reduce its absorption ability.
  • Vaccines with live bacteria like typhoid – Can reduce effectiveness.
  • Blood Thinners like Warfarin – Could prolong bleeding time.
  • Other types of antibiotics like macrolides, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol – Could interferewith one another.

Do not take Keflex if you are allergic to cephalexin or other antibiotics in the same class.

Keflex FAQs

Can You Take Cephalexin for a Tooth Abscess?

Yes, you can take Keflex (cephalexin) to treat toothabscess and even gum infections. Because it is a strong antibiotic it can help to quickly relieve mouth pain from these conditions.

Can You Take Keflex (Cephalexin) When Pregnant?

Cephalexin is one of the antibiotics that are consideredgenerally safe to take while pregnant. There are no cases in which babies or pregnant mothers suffered from any serious side effects when the medication was taken. However, do to lack of evidence or studies, only take antibiotics during pregnancy when seriously needed.

Can You Take Cephalexin While Breast feeding?

Use caution when taking Keflex while breastfeeding. Although there is little proof infants are negatively impacted while breastfeeding from moms who are on the antibiotic, there are cases of neonatal thrush and diarrhea that could be related.

Is Keflex Habit Forming?

Keflex is an antibiotic and have no ingredients that can lead to additions or result in patients forming a habit when using it.

What Should You Do If You Miss a Dose of Keflex?

Never double up on your medication. If you miss a dose of Keflex and you have a few hours before the next dose should be taken you can go ahead and catch up. However, if you miss a dose and are close to the time where your next one is due, skip the missed dose and restart your scheduled routine.

Doubling up on Keflex can lead to an overdose of medication which can have serious side effects.

Can You Stop Taking Keflex Before Your Prescription is Finished?

It is never recommended that you stop taking any antibiotics before finishing the entire prescription. If you stop taking the medication before it is complete, the infection has the possibility of coming back and the next time around it can be antibiotic resistant.

Always follow the prescription as ordered for the most effective results and eliminate unnecessary side effects.