What is cephalexin?
Cephalexin, a cephalosporin antibiotic, is a powerful weapon in the fight against bacterial infections that plague your body. The sheer range of infections that cephalexin can treat is impressive, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, and bone infections.
However, using cephalexin can come with its own set of warnings and precautions. You must not use this medicine if you are allergic to cephalexin or to similar antibiotics such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Omnicef, and others. Moreover, it is of utmost importance to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, especially penicillins or other antibiotics.
Cephalexin has related or similar drugs that you should be aware of, such as prednisone, amoxicillin, doxycycline, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, and clindamycin. You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to other cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor (Ceclor, Raniclor), cefadroxil (Duricef), cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefdinir (Omnicef), cefditoren (Spectracef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), ceftibuten (Cedax), cefuroxime (Ceftin), and others.
Before taking cephalexin, you should inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergy to any drug (especially penicillin), liver or kidney disease, or intestinal problems, such as colitis. Cephalexin is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but you should inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Take cephalexin exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Moreover, measure liquid medicine carefully, use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. This medicine will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold. You should not share cephalexin with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.
Cephalexin can affect the results of certain medical tests. Therefore, tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine. Store the tablets and capsules at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light, and store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.
If you miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Never take two doses at one time. In case of an overdose, seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and blood in your urine.
Cephalexin can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to cephalexin (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Call your doctor immediately if you experience severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody (even if it occurs months after your last dose