Cephalexin is a prescription medication that belongs to the class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins. It is used to treat various bacterial infections in different parts of the body. Cephalexin works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, thereby allowing the body’s immune system to kill the existing bacteria.
When Not to Take Cephalexin
Cephalexin should not be taken if you have a known allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics or any other ingredients present in the medication. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any allergies before starting the treatment. Additionally, Cephalexin may not be suitable for individuals with a history of severe kidney disease or a gastrointestinal disease called colitis.
Cephalexin and Your Health
As with any medication, Cephalexin can cause certain side effects. Common side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, it is important to seek medical attention. Rare but serious side effects may include fever, chills, rash, and difficulty breathing. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
How to Use
Cephalexin should be taken exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Follow the instructions on the prescription label carefully. It is usually recommended to take Cephalexin with food or milk to minimize the risk of stomach upset. Take the medication for the full prescribed duration, even if your symptoms improve before the completion of the course. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one. In the event of an overdose, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of overdose may include severe nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
How Other Drugs Affect Cephalexin
Certain drugs may interact with Cephalexin, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are currently taking before starting Cephalexin. Specifically, medications such as probenecid and metformin may interact with Cephalexin. It is important to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before starting any new medications while using Cephalexin.
Q: Can Cephalexin be used to treat viral infections?
A: No, Cephalexin is an antibiotic and is only effective against bacterial infections. It will not work against viral infections such as the common cold or flu.
Q: Can I drink alcohol while taking Cephalexin?
A: It is generally recommended to avoid alcohol while taking Cephalexin. Alcohol may increase the risk of certain side effects and may also interfere with the effectiveness of the medication.
Q: Can Cephalexin be used during pregnancy?
A: Cephalexin is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any medication during pregnancy to ensure it is appropriate for your specific situation.
Q: Can Cephalexin cause allergic reactions?
A: Yes, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to Cephalexin. If you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.
Q: Can I stop taking Cephalexin if my symptoms improve?
A: No, it is important to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if your symptoms improve. Stopping the medication prematurely may allow the bacteria to become resistant and lead to recurrent infections.