Why is this medication prescribed?
Keflex, whose generic name is cephalexin, is an antibiotic medication that is commonly prescribed for various bacterial infections. It belongs to the class of drugs known as cephalosporins.
Keflex is primarily prescribed to treat infections caused by susceptible bacteria, including:
- Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Keflex can be used to treat skin infections, such as cellulitis, impetigo, and infected wounds.
- Respiratory Tract Infections: It may be prescribed for respiratory infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, and strep throat.
- Urinary Tract Infections: Keflex can be effective in treating urinary tract infections (UTIs), including bladder infections.
- Ear Infections: It can be prescribed for bacterial ear infections, such as otitis media.
- Bone Infections: Keflex may be used to treat bone infections (osteomyelitis) caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Dental Infections: It can be prescribed for dental infections, such as abscesses.
It’s important to note that Keflex is only effective against bacterial infections and is not effective against viral infections like the common cold or flu. It is essential to follow the prescribed dosage and complete the full course of treatment as directed by a healthcare professional to ensure the infection is fully eradicated and to minimize the risk of antibiotic resistance.
How should this medicine be used?
Keflex, also known by its generic name cephalexin, is an antibiotic medication used to treat various bacterial infections. It is important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the instructions on the medication label. However, here are some general guidelines for using Keflex:
- Dosage: Take Keflex exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The dosage and duration of treatment will depend on the type and severity of the infection.
- Timing: Keflex can be taken with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, you may take it with a meal or a snack.
- Complete the full course: It is crucial to complete the full course of Keflex, even if you start feeling better before the treatment is over. Stopping the medication prematurely may allow the infection to return or develop antibiotic resistance.
- Swallowing: Swallow the Keflex tablets or capsules whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break them unless your doctor specifically advises you to do so.
- Missed dose: If you accidentally miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
- Storage: Store Keflex at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct light. Follow the specific storage instructions provided with your medication.
- Medical guidance: Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding the use of Keflex. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific condition and medical history.
Remember, the information provided here is a general guideline, and it’s important to consult your healthcare professional or pharmacist for specific instructions tailored to your situation.
Other uses for this medicine
Keflex (cephalexin) is primarily used to treat bacterial infections, but it may also have other off-label uses as determined by healthcare professionals. Some of the common off-label uses of Keflex include:
- Skin and soft tissue infections: Keflex may be prescribed to treat infections of the skin, such as cellulitis, wound infections, and impetigo.
- Respiratory tract infections: It can be used for respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Keflex may be prescribed to treat uncomplicated UTIs caused by susceptible bacteria.
- Ear, nose, and throat infections: It can be used to treat infections of the middle ear (otitis media), sinus infections (sinusitis), and throat infections (pharyngitis, tonsillitis).
- Bone and joint infections: Keflex may be used to treat certain bone and joint infections caused by susceptible bacteria.
What special precautions should I follow?
Regarding special precautions for Keflex, here are a few important points to consider:
- Allergy: Inform your doctor if you have any known allergies to cephalexin or other cephalosporin antibiotics. If you have had an allergic reaction to penicillin in the past, there may be an increased risk of an allergic reaction to Keflex.
- Medical history: Provide your healthcare provider with a detailed medical history, especially if you have kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease, or a history of colitis.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The use of Keflex during pregnancy or breastfeeding should be assessed by a healthcare professional.
- Drug interactions: Inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking, as certain drugs may interact with Keflex. This includes blood thinners like warfarin.
- Side effects: Like any medication, Keflex may cause side effects. Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and skin rash. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider.
These are general precautions, and it’s important to consult your healthcare provider for specific advice based on your medical history and individual circumstances before using Keflex.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with taking Keflex (cephalexin). You can take it with or without food. However, if you find that Keflex upsets your stomach, you may take it with a meal or a snack to help alleviate any discomfort.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget to take a dose of Keflex, follow these general guidelines:
- Timing: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose.
- Double-dosing: If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
- Consult your healthcare provider: If you are unsure about what to do or have any concerns, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Keflex (cephalexin) may cause several side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of Keflex include:
- Gastrointestinal effects: These are the most common side effects and may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, indigestion, and a general feeling of discomfort in the stomach. Taking Keflex with food can help reduce the likelihood of these gastrointestinal side effects.
- Skin reactions: Some individuals may experience skin rash, itching, hives, or swelling. If you develop a severe skin reaction or any signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek immediate medical attention.
- Oral thrush or vaginal yeast infection: Antibiotic use can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body, leading to overgrowth of yeast. This may result in oral thrush (white patches in the mouth) or vaginal yeast infection (itching, discharge, and irritation in the vaginal area).
- Allergic reactions: In rare cases, some individuals may experience severe allergic reactions to Keflex, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, or hives. If you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
- Other side effects: Other less common side effects may include headache, dizziness, fatigue, joint pain, confusion, changes in urine color, or increased sensitivity to sunlight.
It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and other side effects may occur. If you experience any unusual or persistent side effects while taking Keflex, it is recommended to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
- Storage: Keep Keflex at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct light. Do not store it in the bathroom or any area with high humidity. Follow any specific storage instructions provided with your medication.
- Keep out of reach of children: Store Keflex in a secure place, out of the reach of children and pets, to prevent accidental ingestion.
- Proper disposal: When it comes to disposing of unused or expired Keflex, it’s important to follow local regulations and guidelines. Do not flush medication down the toilet or pour it into drains unless specifically instructed to do so. You can consult your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for proper disposal methods, such as medication take-back programs or designated disposal sites.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of an emergency or overdose, it is important to take the following steps:
- Call emergency services: If someone has overdosed and is experiencing severe symptoms or is unconscious, call emergency services immediately.
- Contact poison control: If you suspect an overdose or have taken more Keflex than prescribed, contact your local poison control center or go to the nearest emergency room for guidance. They can provide specific advice based on your situation.
What other information should I know?
Other important information to know about Keflex includes:
- Antibiotic resistance: Misuse or overuse of antibiotics, including Keflex, can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance. It is important to take Keflex as prescribed by your healthcare provider and complete the full course of treatment to minimize the risk of resistance.
- Follow-up appointments: It is generally recommended to follow up with your healthcare provider after completing a course of Keflex to ensure the infection has been effectively treated.
- Laboratory tests: Your doctor may order laboratory tests, such as blood tests or urine cultures, before and during treatment with Keflex to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and to check for any potential side effects.
- Drug interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking, as certain drugs may interact with Keflex. This includes blood thinners like warfarin.
Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for comprehensive and personalized information about Keflex, including any specific considerations or precautions based on your individual circumstances.