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What is Cephalexin?

Cefalexin is a first generation antibiotic released in the form of 500 mg tablets. The drug has a bactericidal effect, violates the synthesis of the cell wall of microorganisms. It is resistant to penicillinases of gram-positive microorganisms; destroyed by beta-lactamases of gram-negative microorganisms.

The drug has a broad spectrum of action: active against gram-positive microorganisms: Staphylococcus spp., not producing and producing penicillinase, Staphylococcus epidermidis (penicillin-resistant strains), Streptococcus spp. (including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes), Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Clostridium spp., Bacillus anthracis, Actinomyces israelii; gram-negative microorganisms: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp. (including Klebsiella pneumoniae), Moraxella catarrhalis (Branhamella), Proteus mirabilis, Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., Treponema spp.

The drug is not effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, pseudomonads of other species., Proteus spp. (indole-positive strains), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, anaerobic microorganisms, Enterococcus faecalis, Haemophilus spp., Enterobacter spp., Serratia spp., Aeromonas spp., Acinetobacter spp., methicillin-resistant strains of staphylococci.


Cephalexin is used for treating:

  • infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract (pharyngitis, otitis media, sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, acute and exacerbation of chronic pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, empyema and lung abscess);
  • infections of the genitourinary system (pyelonephritis, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, epididymitis, endometritis, gonorrhea, vulvovaginitis);
  • infections of the skin and soft tissues (furunculosis, abscess, phlegmon, pyoderma, lymphadenitis, lymphangitis);
  • infections of bones and joints (including osteomyelitis).

Dosage and mode of application

When determining the dose of the drug, it is necessary to take into account the localization and severity of the disease. In the absence of other recommendations, the drug is taken at a dosage of 250 or 500 mg every 6 or 12 hours. The duration of therapy varies from 1 to 2 weeks. Children weighing less than 40 kg should receive 25 or 50 mg per kg of body weight from 3 to 4 times a day. To prevent dysbiosis, the antibiotic should be combined with probiotics.


Do not take this medication if you have any of the following diseases/conditions:

  • hypersensitivity to cephalexin or any of the components of the drug or other cephalosporins;
  • children under 6 years of age.

With caution: renal failure, marked impaired liver function, pseudomembranous colitis (in history).

Side effects

  • Allergic reactions: urticaria, skin rash, pruritus, angioedema, erythematous rashes, malignant exudative erythema (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell’s syndrome), anaphylaxis, arthralgia, arthritis, eozealism, itching of the genitals and anus;
  • Nervous system: dizziness, weakness, malaise, headache, sleep disturbance, agitation, hallucinations, convulsions;
  • Genitourinary and urinary system: vaginitis, vaginal discharge, genital candidiasis, interstitial nephritis, toxic nephritis, renal dysfunction, acute tubular necrosis;
  • Digestive system: abdominal pain, dryness of the oral mucosa, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, diarrhea, gastritis, toxic hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, intestinal candidiasis, oral cavity, rarely – pseudomembranous colitis;
  • Blood-forming organs: pancytopenia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia;
  • Laboratory indicators: increased activity of liver transaminases and alkaline phosphatase; an increase in prothrombin time, an increase in the concentration of bilirubin, LDH in serum;
  • Other: joint pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, bleeding.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The use of Cefalexin in the treatment of pregnant women is possible only under strict medical indications and only if the potential benefit of its use exceeds the possible risk to the health of the fetus. When using this antibiotic during lactation, a woman should stop breastfeeding.


Medications that can interact with Cephalexin include:

  • furosemide,
  • ethacrynic acid,
  • nephrotoxic antibiotics (for example, aminoglycosides)
  • salicylates
  • indomethacin
  • indirect anticoagulants.

Safety precautions

The main symptoms of an overdose are nausea, diarrhea, epigastric pain, vomiting, and hematuria. To eliminate undesirable symptoms, the patient is prescribed the use of activated carbon, monitoring the functions of vital organs and correct symptomatic treatment.

Patients with a history of allergic reactions to penicillins and carbapenems may have an increased sensitivity to this antibiotic.

During treatment, a positive direct Coombs reaction and a false-positive reaction of urine to glucose can occur.

It is not recommended to take alcohol during the period of treatment.

In patients with impaired renal function, cumulation can occur (correction of the dosing regimen is required).

In staphylococcal infections, there is cross-resistance between cephalosporins and isoxazolyl penicillins.

During treatment, caution should be taken when driving a car and engaging in other potentially dangerous activities because of possible adverse reactions related to the central nervous system, such as dizziness, agitation, convulsions, hallucinations.

How to buy Cephalexin?

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