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Cephalexin is an antibiotic drug for treating infectious diseases caused by bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, or Escherichia coli .

Some of the infectious diseases that can be treated by this drug are respiratory tract infections, bone infections, skin infections, ear infections, or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Cephalexin belongs to the class I cephalosporin 
antibiotics . This drug will stop or slow down the growth of bacteria by preventing the formation of bacterial cell walls, so that bacteria cannot survive. This medicine is not effective at treating viral infections, such as the flu .

Cephalexin trademarks: Cefabiotic, Cefalexin Monohydrate, Lexipron, Madlexin

What is Cephalexin

Group Prescription drugs
Category Cephalosporin antibiotics
Benefit Treating bacterial infections
Consumed by Adults and children
Cephalexin for pregnant and lactating women Category B: Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

However, it is suspected that this drug can increase the risk of newborns experiencing diarrhea and thrush.

Cephalexin can be absorbed into breast milk. Do not use this medication without consulting your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

Drug form Capsules and dry syrup

Precautions Before Taking Cephalexin

Cephalexin can only be used as prescribed by a doctor. Note the following points before using cephalexin:

  • Do not use this medication if you are allergic to cephalexin. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to penicillins or cephalosporins.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease , diabetes, or ulcerative colitis .
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to get vaccinated with live vaccines while having treatment with cephalexin, because this medication may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking cephalexin if you are going to have surgery, including dental surgery.
  • See your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction , serious side effects, or overdose after taking cephalexin.

Cephalexin Dosage and Directions

Below is a breakdown of the dosage of cephalexin based on the condition and age of the patient:

Condition: Uncomplicated urinary tract infection or skin and soft tissue infection

  • Adult: 250 mg every 6 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours. Maximum dose of 4,000 mg per day divided into 2-4 doses.
  • Children: 25–50 mg/kg per day given every 12 hours.

Conditions: Dental infections, acute prostatitis , bone and joint infections, respiratory tract infections, or urinary and genital tract infections

  • Adult: 1000–4000 mg per day, in divided doses. Typical dosage is 500 mg every 8 hours.
  • Children ≥5 years: 250 mg every 8 hours. For severe infections, the dose may be increased or doubled.
  • Children <5 years: 125 mg every 8 hours. For severe infections, the dose may be increased or doubled.

Condition: Otitis media

  • Children: 75–100 mg/kg per day in 4 divided doses.

Condition: Pharyngitis due to Streptococcus bacterial infection

  • Adult: 250 mg every 6 hours or 500 mg, every 12 hours, for at least 10 days. The maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day given in separate doses.
  • Children: 25–50 mg/kg per day every 12 hours, for 10 days.

How to Take Cephalexin Properly

Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the instructions for use listed on the drug packaging before consuming it. This medicine can be taken before or after meals. To avoid heartburn, cephalexin should be taken with food.

Make sure that there is sufficient time between one dose and the next. Try to take cephalexin at the same time each day to maximize the effect of the drug.

The cephalexin capsule needs to be swallowed whole with the help of water. Meanwhile, cephalexin syrup needs to be shaken before use so that the medicine mixes well. Use the measuring spoon that is in the package so that the dose consumed is correct.

If you forget to take cephalexin, consume it immediately if the next dose schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore the dose and do not double the cephalexin dose at the next scheduled time.

Do not stop using cephalexin before the specified time even though the condition has improved. This is done to prevent the infection from recurring.

Store the medicine in its packaging in a cool and dry place. If the drug is in the form of a syrup, store the drug in the refrigerator. Avoid this drug from exposure to direct sunlight and keep it out of reach of children.

Cephalexin Interactions with Other Drugs

The effects of drug interactions that can occur when cephalexin is used together with other drugs are:

  • Increased levels of metformin in the blood
  • Increased levels of cephalexin in the blood if used with probenecid
  • Increased risk of kidney damage if used with amphotericin, loop diuretics, aminoglycosides , capreomycin, or vancomycin
  • Increased risk of hypokalemia when used with gentamicin
  • Decreased effectiveness of birth control pills that contain estrogen

Cephalexin Side Effects and Dangers

Some of the side effects that may occur due to the use of cephalexin are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach ache or heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Sprue
  • Joint pain
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Confused

Check with your doctor if the side effects above don't improve or get worse. Immediately to the doctor If you have an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, such as bloody diarrhea, severe stomach pain or cramps , or fever.

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