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Cephalexin is a cephalosporin antibiotic used in the treatment of respiratory infections and ear infections.
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Pack quantity: 60
Release form: Pills
Manufacturer: Pharmaceuticals Inc., Canada
What is Cephalexin?
Cephalexin is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to an antibiotic class called cephalosporin. As a drug, it kills the bacteria or stops its growth. Cephalexin is one of the most effective and safe medicines which makes it a very important drug in the health systems. Some of the popular brands under which it is marketed are Keflex and Ceporex. It is also available in generic form.
When Cephalexin is used?
Cephalexin is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. However, it will not work for viral infections like common cold, flue, etc. Your doctor will tell you what kind of infection you have and the relevant medicines to take. Some of bacterial infections that use Cephalexin in the treatment are:
Otitis media, also called middle ear infection is an inflammation of ear tissue and the tissues behind the ear drum. The inflammation is caused due to the infection and could also be an effect of cold or respiratory infection. Otitis media is a very common type of infection that is seen in children and the usual symptoms are fever and fullness of ear along with ear pain. Cephalexin is used to treat otitis media and stop the infection in the ear.
Tonsillitis is the condition of swollen tonsils, a pair of tissue masses on either side of the back of the throat. Swelling of the tonsils could be caused by bacteria or virus. The most common sign of tonsillitis is sore throat. There could be other symptoms for tonsil infections like cold, running nose, fever, etc. Depending on the diagnosis done by a physician, Cephalexin could be used in treating the tonsil infection.
Cephalexin is a useful drug in treating infections of the bone. If bacteria enters the bone through bloodstream, it may cause inflammation and infection to the bone. Some of the common symptoms of the bone infection are pain in the infected area along with possible swelling or redness. Depending on the condition, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics such as Cephalexin for treating the injection.
Urinary tract infections
Cephalexin is used to treat the urinary tract infections, or UTIs. Urinary tract is the path through which the urine passes out in the body. It starts with kidneys, ureters, bladder, and then urethra. Infection to any of these is called the UTI. The reason is bacteria spreading in the urinary parts which leads to an infection. Some of the most common traits of UTI are pain or burning urination, and frequent urinating. UTIs are treated with antibiotics based on the diagnosis.
Cephalexin is used to treat laryngitis, which the infection of voice cords. The infection causes an inflammation of voice cords in Larynx, also called the voice box. Some of the causes beside the infection could be common cold, respiratory infection or GERD. Some common signs of laryngitis are throat pain, sore throat, croakiness while speaking, and loss of voice. Antibiotics are used in the treatment for stopping the infection.
Cephalexin used in the treatment of Bronchitis, which is an inflammation of bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs. Cough is the most common symptom of bronchitis. The inflamed bronchial tubes obstruct some of the air passing through the lungs which cause the causing. While there could be causes other than infections such as smoking and pollution, antibiotics help in treating the bronchitis.
Bacterial Skin Infection
Cephalexin is used in treating the skin infection if the causes of it are bacteria. Bacterial infection on skin may lead to bumps with redness. Depending on the type of bacteria and the infection, antibiotics are used to for the treatment.
Cephalexin may be used in treating pneumonia if the cause is bacterial. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, virus or fungi. Antibiotics are used in the treatment if there is a bacterial infection, and the medications depending on what kind of bacteria it is. Pneumonia leads to inflammation of the airspace in the lungs.
Precautions to follow before taking Cephalexin
While it is a very effective medicine to treat various bacterial diseases, Cephalexin should not be taken if you have known allergies to penicillin. It is very important that you tell your doctor if you are also allergic to other cephalosporins like cefpodoxime, ceftin, cefzil, or any other antibiotics in addition to penicillin.
Talk to your doctor clearly about your medical history if you have kidney or liver diseases, or any intestinal diseases. People with diabetes should consult the doctors as Cephalexin may have sugar in it. Also tell your doctor about any other prescription medicines you are taking.
Since this is antibiotic, any vaccines that have live bacteria may not work as they are supposed to, if Cephalexin is taken.
Do not take Cephalexin during pregnancy without consulting your doctor. Similarly, if you are breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking Cephalexin. This drug passes on to breast milk.
Side Effects from taking Cephalexin
Common side effects of Cephalexin are diarrhoea, dizziness, nausea, head ache, and joint pains. Saying that, Cephalexin is usually very safe to be taken as your doctor prescribes it only after examining you. Hence it is important that you consult your doctor first, and take Cephalexin only with a prescription.
If used for a long time, Cephalexin may cause yeast or oral infection. If you see white lesions on the tongue. Also, talk to your doctor if you observe any vaginal discharges.
While diarrhoea is a common side effect of taking Cephalexin, do not ignore if it stays for a prolonged period of time. Do not take any anti diarrhoea medication, and talk to your doctor instead. Also lookout for any mucus and blood in stool, and report this to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about any sever allergies like rashes, itching or swelling of face, tongue or throat.
To sum up, Cephalexin is a safe medicine to use but one should be extremely watchful for any reactions or persistent side effects. Seek medical help immediately without taking any other medication for these side effects or over the counter drugs.
Cephalosporins usage in some cases reported to have triggered seizures. Cephalexin should be discontinued if seizure occurs and have the doctor informed.
Cephalexin may increase the prothrombin time. If someone is suffering with nutritional ailments, renal diseases, a doctor need to examine the risk factors before taking Cephalexin.
Any drugs you take will have its after effect depending on other medications that are taken around the same time. The best way to ensure there is no negative effect is telling your doctor about all the other medications that you are taking. No changes in the dosages of your current medications should be made without your doctor’s approval.
Antibiotics usually do not come in the way of birth control medications function. However, few antibiotics may decrease their potency. Inform your doctor about your birth control medications if you are prescribed Cephalexin.
If you are due to take any laboratory tests, inform your doctors and laboratory staff about Cephalexin, as this may affect the lab results.
How Cephalexin should be used?
Cephalexin is available in the form of capsule or tablets that has to be swallowed, and in the form of oral suspension (liquid). The usual recommended dosage is for every 6 hours. Saying that, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor and have the frequency of the dosage as prescribed. The same is applicable for the dosage duration.
Your doctor will tell you for how long you need to be on the medication based on your current condition, medical history and susceptibility to side effects. Avoid taking this medication without a doctor’s approval or treat it as an over the counter medicine. Cephalexin can be taken with or without food. As mentioned earlier, follow the dosage guidelines based on the doctor’s prescription and the medicine label. The dosage is different for every individual and is based on a person’s condition. Weight is also considered when it is prescribed to children.
If you are taking the oral suspension, shake the bottle well so that the medicine is mixed evenly. You should also be careful about the dosage while taking suspension. Use a proper measuring spoon instead of a kitchen spoon, which may not give the right amount of dosage.
Cephalexin should show results after the first few days of taking the medicine. If your condition worsens, or continues to be like earlier, or have a prolonged period of side effects, talk to your doctor immediately.
Do not stop the medication just after you see results. Continue to take it for the entire period prescribed by your doctor. This will ensure the infections are not returned or the bacteria does not become resistant to antibiotics.
Storage and Disposal of Cephalexin
Cephalexin should be stored in the same pack it comes in and tightly closed. Keep the medicine away from children to avoid unwarranted dosages. The medicines should be stored at room temperature. Avoid exposing them to heat or moisture. For these reasons, do not store them in bathroom.
If you are using the liquid form of Cephalexin – oral suspension – store it in refrigerator. Keep it tightly closed all the times. Dispose the medication after 14 days.
Dispose the unused or medicines that are needed any a responsible way. It could prove dangerous if children can lay their hands on them. Similarly, pets may consume them if disposed unattended. There are medicines take back programs that will ensure your unused medicines are collected for disposal or recycling. You can also contact your pharmacy or municipal authority for more details. You can also find information about safe disposal guidelines on FDA website.
Always keep the medicines out of children’s reach to avoid unnecessary consumption by them. Educate them about medicine safety guidelines, lock them properly so that they cannot open them easily, and store them in a place which will be safe
Overdose of Cephalexin
While it is absolutely critical to consume the medicine only in the prescribed dosages, know what the ways to deal with over dosage are. Keep the helpline numbers handy such as the poison control centre. You can reach the local poison control centre by dialling 1-800-222-1222.
The warning signs are trouble in breathing, seizures, or passing out. If any of these happens, immediately call the poison control centre or 911 for immediate help.
Other important information about Cephalexin
Cephalexin is available under various brand names and also in generic form. Some of the most common brands on Keflex and Biocef. You need a prescription to get Cephalexin whether it’s branded or generic.
Cephalexin is available in form of tablets with a dosage of 250 mg and 500 mg, capsules that come in 250 mg, 500 mg, and 700 mg, and suspension powder in 125 and 250mg/5l. The dosage should be strictly based on the doctor’s prescription and directions.
While the tablets and capsules should be stored in room temperature as discussed earlier, the suspension should be stored in refrigerator and discarded after 14 days once prepared from the powder.
These medicines are prescribed based on an individual’s condition after carefully evaluating the infection, medical history and other health records. So, no one other than you should take these medicines. Cephalexin is used for various bacterial infections. However, another person with same infection with similar symptoms should not take Cephalexin without consulting a doctor.
To summarize, Cephalexin is a prescription antibiotic and an effective medicine to treat bacterial infections. Some of the commonly seen infections that can be treated with Cephalexin are mid ear infection, urinary tract infections, skin and bone infections, tonsillitis, bronchitis, laryngitis, and other forms of throat infections. Cephalexin is a safe medication to use but you should be aware of the side effects. Common side effects like head ache, nausea and diarrhoea may occur while taking this medication. However any prolonged and persistent side effects should be brought to your doctor’s notice immediately.
All the other precautions that go by medications should be taken properly. Do not take Cephalexin without a doctor prescription. Always follow the dosage guidelines and label instructions. Inform your doctor about all the current prescription medications you are taking. Any laboratory test should be done only after informing your doctor.
Do not let anyone take the medication without a doctor prescription, even if it is the same infection. Keep the medicines out of children reach and store them according to the package guidelines.
In case of overdose, make sure that the poison control centre or 911 are reached out to.