Keflex

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Keflex Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Keflex® (cephalexin) used for?

Keflex® is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body.

Keflex® is used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.

Keflex® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I take Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Take Keflex® exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not use Keflex® to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Keflex® will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

Do not share Keflex® with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Keflex®.

How do I store Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Keflex® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Keflex® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Keflex® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Keflex® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Keflex® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Do not use Keflex® if you are allergic to other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as:

  • Cefaclor (Raniclor)
  • Cefadroxil (Duricef)
  • Cfazolin (Ancef)
  • Cefdinir (Omnicef)
  • Cefditoren (Spectracef)
  • Cefpodoxime (Vantin)
  • Cefprozil (Cefzil)
  • Ceftibuten (Cedax)
  • Cefuroxime (Ceftin)
  • Cephradine (Velosef), and others

Keflex is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Cephalexin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Keflex® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Keflex®. Keflex® is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling tired
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Vaginal itching or discharge

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum)
  • Purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
  • Little or no urination
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe skin reaction – fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Keflex: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Keflex® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Keflex® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Keflex® (cephalexin)?

Keflex® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • An allergy to any drugs (especially penicillins)
  • Kidney disease
  • A history of intestinal problems, such as colitis

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Keflex® (cephalexin).

What is the dose of Keflex® (cephalexin) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

The recommended dose is 2 g orally as a single dose one hour before the procedure.

Usual Adult Dose for Cystitis:

The recommended dose is 250 mg orally every 6 hours or 500 mg orally every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media:

The recommended dose is 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 10 to 14 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Pharyngitis:

The recommended dose is 250 mg orally every 6 hours or 500 mg orally every 12 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

The recommended dose is 250 mg orally every 6 hours or 500 mg orally every 12 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Osteomyelitis:

The recommended dose is 500 mg orally every 6 hours.

Therapy should be continued for approximately 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the nature and severity of the infection. Chronic osteomyelitis may require an additional one to two months of antibiotic therapy and may benefit from surgical debridement.

Usual Adult Dose for Prostatitis:

The recommended dose is 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 14 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Pyelonephritis:

The recommended dose is 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 14 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

The recommended dose is 250 to 500 mg orally every 6 hours for 7 to 10 days.

Usual Adult Dose of Keflex for Bacterial Infection:

The recommended dose is 250 to 500 mg orally every 6 hours.

Therapy should be continued for approximately 7 to 21 days, depending on the nature and severity of the infection.

What is the dose of Keflex® (cephalexin) for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

The recommended dose is 12.5 to 25 mg/kg orally every 6 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pharyngitis:

Over 1 year of age:

Streptococcal pharyngitis: The recommended dose is 12.5 to 25 mg/kg orally every 12 hours 

Usual Pediatric Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

The recommended dose is 12.5 to 25 mg/kg orally every 12 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

As an alternative in penicillin-allergic patients (non-anaphylactoid type): The recommended dose is 50 mg/kg (maximum 2 g) orally once, 1 hour before procedure.

How is Keflex® (cephalexin) available?

Keflex® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Capsule: cephalexin 250mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Keflex®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: July 19, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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