CEPHALEXIN (sef a LEX in) treats infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called cephalosporin antibiotics. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by viruses.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Stomach or intestine problems like colitis
An unusual or allergic reaction to cephalexin, other penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take all of this medication unless your care team tells you to stop it early. Keep taking it even if you think you are better.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Some other antibiotics
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Severe diarrhea, fever
Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your care team if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
If you have diabetes, you may get a false-positive result for sugar in your urine. Check with your care team.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.