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Generic Name: cephalexin

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections It will not work for colds, flu, or other ... more
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What is this medicine?

CEPHALEXIN (sef a LEX in) is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • kidney disease
  • stomach or intestine problems, especially colitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to cephalexin, other cephalosporins, penicillins, other antibiotics, medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medicine can be taken with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug 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. There should be at least 4 to 6 hours between doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • probenecid
  • some other antibiotics

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not begin to improve in a few days.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

If you have diabetes, you may get a false-positive result for sugar in your urine. Check with your doctor or health care professional.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • pain or trouble passing urine
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • severe or watery diarrhea
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of the eyes, skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • gas or heartburn
  • genital or anal irritation
  • headache
  • joint or muscle pain
  • nausea, vomiting

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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