What is cephalexin?
Cephalexin is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body.
Cephalexin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.
Cephalexin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to cephalexin or to similar antibiotics, such as Ceftin, Cefzil, Omnicef, and others. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, especially penicillins or other antibiotics, or if you have kidney or liver disease, a stomach or intestinal disorder such as colitis, diabetes, or if you are malnourished.
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Take cephalexin for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Cephalexin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to cephalexin or to other cephalosporin antibiotics, such as:
cefuroxime (Ceftin); or
cephradine (Velosef), and others.
To make sure cephalexin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
an allergy to any drugs (especially penicillins);
kidney disease; or
a history of intestinal problems, such as colitis.
The liquid form of cephalexin may contain sugar. This may affect you if you have diabetes.
Cephalexin 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.
How should I take cephalexin?
Take cephalexin 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 cephalexin to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.
Dissolve the dispersible tablet in a small amount of water, about 2 teaspoonfuls. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away. Do not swallow or chew a dispersible tablet.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
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. Cephalexin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Do not share cephalexin 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 cephalexin.
Store the tablets and capsules at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.