Cephalexin is a drug which belongs to cephalosporin class of antibiotics. In most of the cases this antibiotic medication is prescribed for the treatment of bacterial infections like respiratory tract infection (pneumonia, bronchitis, strep throat, or tonsillitis), bone infection (osteomyelitis), middle ear infection (otitis media), sinus infection (sinusitis), urinary tract infection (UTI), irritation of the prostate (prostatitis), and skin infection, such as cellulitis, folliculitis, or impetigo. It can also be used for prevention of heart valve infections (bacterial endocarditis).
Cephalexin is the 1st generation cephalosporin antibiotic medication. It has a bactericidal action, disrupts the synthesis of the cell wall of microorganisms. The drug is resistant to lactamases. After oral application, it is rapidly and well absorbed. Food intakes slow down the absorption, but it does not affect its completeness.
The drug Cephalexin has some contraindications. It should not be used in case of kidney disease or kidney failure, pregnancy or planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, planned surgery, presence of any allergies that include allergies to Cephalexin, to other cephalosporins, to penicillin, or to other types of drugs. Also, you should notify your healthcare provider about all the medicines you're taking, including both prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements before taking Cephalexin because of the possibility of some drugs interactions.
Some of the common side effects include, but are not limited to: diarrhea, headache, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, unexplained skin rash, yeast infection. You should report any unwanted reactions you encounter to the doctor, he'll advise you to change the dosage or will recommend a different medicine. In case of severe allergic reactions - seek medical help immediately.
Side effects from the digestive system may be the following: abdominal pain, dry mouth, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, toxic hepatitis, increased activity of hepatic transaminases and alkaline phosphatase.
From the nervous system side reactions may include: dizziness, weakness, headache, agitation, hallucinations, and convulsions.
Adverse reactions from the genitourinary system may include: interstitial nephritis, itching of the genitals and anus, vaginitis, vaginal discharge, genital candidiasis.
From the musculoskeletal system there may be the following side effects: arthralgia, arthritis.
The list of side reactions here is not complete. If you want to know more information about the drug, then you should talk to your doctor.
You should contact your doctor if after taking the drug you began experiencing any negative reaction or state. If you have any bad symptoms that bother you very much, then you should seek medical help immediately.
Method of Application
Taking Cephalexin is contraindicated to children under the age of 3 years old (for the dosage form - capsules). For children under 10 years of age, the drug is recommended to be prescribed in the form of a suspension for oral application.
Commonly, the drug Cephalexin is taken orally with some water, 30-60 minutes before having a meal.
The average dose for adults and children over 10 years old is usually 250-500 mg per 6 hours. The daily dosage of the medication should be at least 1-2 g, and, if necessary, it can be increased to 4 g. The duration of the treatment course is 7-14 days. For infections caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, the minimum treatment duration is 10 days.
For adult patients experiencing impaired renal function, the daily dose is usually reduced and the daily dosage can be divided into 4 doses.
For children under 10 years old, the medication is recommended to be prescribed in the form of a suspension for oral application. With a body weight of less than 40 kg, the average daily dose is 25-100 mg / kg of body weight. The frequency of the intakes is 4 times per day. For patients suffering from medium otitis the dose is 75 mg / kg per day, and the frequency of drug intakes is 4 times per day. For the patients suffering from streptococcal pharyngitis, infections of the skin and soft tissues, the frequency of drug intakes is usually 2 times per day. In the cases of severe infections, the daily dosage can be increased up to 100 mg / kg of body weight, and the frequency of drug intakes can be up to 6 times per day.
To prepare the suspension of Cephalexin you should add water to the bottle and shake well. The prepared suspension is active at room temperature for 14 days. The suspension must be shaken before each use. 5 ml of the prepared suspension contains 250 mg of the Cephalexin medication.
Ask your doctor if you are not sure how to take the medication correctly. Take the drug strictly following all the recommendations of the doctor the instructions for use in a leaflet that comes with the medicine package.