Cephalexin hydrochloride


|Cephalexin hydrochloride

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Cephalexin hydrochloride

Generic name: Cephalexin hydrochloride
Brand names: Keftab, Keflex

Why is Cephalexin hydrochloride prescribed?

Cephalexin hydrochloride and Keftab are cephalosporin antibiotics. They are prescribed for bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, the middle ear, the bones, the skin, and the reproductive and urinary systems. Because they are effective for only certain types of bacterial infections, before beginning treatment your doctor may perform tests to identify the organisms causing the infection.

Cephalexin hydrochloride is available in capsules and an oral suspension form for use in children. Keftab, available only in tablet form, is prescribed exclusively for adults.

Most important fact about Cephalexin hydrochloride

If you are allergic to either penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics in any form, consult your doctor before taking Cephalexin hydrochloride. There is a possibility that you are allergic to both types of medication and if a reaction occurs, it could be extremely severe. If you take the drug and feel signs of a reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

How should you take Cephalexin hydrochloride?

Cephalexin hydrochloride may be taken with or without meals. However, if the drug upsets your stomach, you may want to take it after you have eaten.

Take Cephalexin hydrochloride at even intervals around the clock as prescribed by your doctor.

If you are taking the liquid form of Cephalexin hydrochloride, use the specially marked spoon to measure each dose accurately.

Your doctor will only prescribe Cephalexin hydrochloride to treat a bacterial infection; it will not cure a viral infection, such as the common cold. It"s important to take the full dosage schedule of Cephalexin hydrochloride, even if you"re feeling better in a few days. Not completing the full dosage schedule may decrease the drug"s effectiveness and increase the chances that the bacteria may become resistant to Cephalexin hydrochloride and similar antibiotics.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, and you take 2 doses a day, take the one you missed and the next dose 5 to 6 hours later. If you take 3 or more doses a day, take the one you missed and the next dose 2 to 4 hours later, or double the next dose. Then go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Store capsules and tablets at room temperature. Store the liquid suspension in a refrigerator; discard any unused medication after 14 days.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Cephalexin hydrochloride.

  • Side effects may include:

Why should Cephalexin hydrochloride not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to the cephalosporin group of antibiotics, you should not use Cephalexin hydrochloride. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Cephalexin hydrochloride

If you have a history of stomach or intestinal disease, especially colitis, check with your doctor before taking Cephalexin hydrochloride.

If you have ever had an allergic reaction, particularly to drugs, be sure to tell your doctor.

If diarrhea occurs while taking cephalexin, check with your doctor before taking a remedy. Certain diarrhea medications (for instance, Lomotil) may increase your diarrhea or make it last longer.

Prolonged use of Cephalexin hydrochloride may result in an overgrowth of bacteria that do not respond to the medication, causing a secondary infection. Your doctor will monitor your use of Cephalexin hydrochloride on a regular basis.

If you have a kidney disorder, check with your doctor before taking Cephalexin hydrochloride. You may need a reduced dose.

If you are diabetic, it is important to note that Cephalexin hydrochloride may cause false results in tests for urine sugar. Notify your doctor that you are taking Cephalexin hydrochloride before being tested. Do not change your diet or dosage of diabetes medication without first consulting with your doctor.

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they get worse, notify your doctor immediately.

Do not give Cephalexin hydrochloride to other people or use it for other infections before checking with your doctor.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Cephalexin hydrochloride

If Cephalexin hydrochloride is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Cephalexin hydrochloride with the following:

Certain diarrhea medications such as Lomotil
Oral contraceptives

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Cephalexin hydrochloride during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately. Cephalexin hydrochloride appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Cephalexin hydrochloride is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage


Throat, Skin, and Urinary Tract Infections

The usual adult dosage is 500 milligrams taken every 12 hours. Cystitis (bladder infection) therapy should be continued for 7 to 14 days.

Other Infections

The usual recommended dosage is 250 milligrams taken every 6 hours. For more severe infections, larger doses may be needed, as determined by your doctor.


Cephalexin hydrochloride

The usual dose is 25 to 50 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into smaller doses.

For strep throat in children over 1 year of age and for skin infections, the dose may be divided into 2 doses taken every 12 hours. For strep infections, the medication should be taken for at least 10 days. Your doctor may double the dose if your child has a severe infection.

For middle ear infection, the dose is 75 to 100 milligrams per 2.2 pounds per day, divided into 4 doses.


Safety and effectiveness have not been established in children.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences.

If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

  • Symptoms of Cephalexin hydrochloride overdose may include:
    Blood in the urine, diarrhea, nausea, upper abdominal pain, vomiting

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