Cefalexin is an antibiotic. It is used to treat certain bacterial infections of the nose, throat, lungs, teeth, ears, bones, joints, skin, kidney, bladder and genitals.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Cefalexin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instruction on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. To reduce any stomach discomfort, you may take Cefalexin with food.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
Cefalexin is available as a capsule, tablet, or as a powder for oral suspension.
If you are taking the oral suspension, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your infection.
Take Cefalexin at regular intervals. Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to Cefalexin or any other similar antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefuroxime or cefixime.
Alert your doctor if you have an acute porphyria (an inherited disorder that may cause skin or nervous system abnormalities) as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- history of fits or seizures
- known allergy to penicillin (antibiotic)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Cefalexin to a child.
If you are going for certain laboratory tests (e.g. urine glucose or protein tests, Coombs’ test), inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests for your liver and kidney function may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Regular monitoring of signs of allergic reactions (e.g. rash, urticaria) at first dose may also be needed.
Cefalexin may cause any of the following side effects: diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop taking this medicine and inform your doctor immediately. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- severe, persistent or bloody diarrhoea
- fits or seizures
- severe stomach pain and tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other antibiotics e.g. amphotericin, capreomycin, gentamicin, vancomycin
- medicines for water retention or water pills e.g. furosemide, torsemide, bumetanide
- probenecid (medicine for gout)
- metformin (medicine for diabetes)
- birth control pills with oestrogen
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Cefalexin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Refrigerate the oral suspension (between 2-8°C) once you have mixed the powder with water. Do not freeze it otherwise it will become less effective. Throw away any unused portion after 14 days.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.