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Cephalexin (Keflex, Keftabs)


Cephalexin is a cephalosporin antibiotic. Cephalosporins are 7-aminocephalosporic acid derivatives that are structurally very closely associated with penicillin. Cephalosporins possess a six tiered sulfur ring bordering a ß lactam ring. Cephalexin is recommended to patients suffering with irritations in their prostate gland. It is also used to treat various bacterial infections including respiratory tract inflammation, urinary tract and skin infections. Since Cephalexin is an antibiotic drug, it has to be taken consistently after regular intervals for optimum therapeutic effect. Any discontinuation in taking this drug will not render effective results.

Indications: the medicationcomesas a capsule, tablet, and liquid to take by mouth. Cephalexin capsules and oral suspensions are used for treating or preventing infections that are suspected to be bacterial in nature. This drug is indicated for treating the following medical conditions:

  • Acute prostatitis
  • Infections in respiratory tract caused by S. pyogenes and S. pneumoniae
  • Otitis caused by H. influenzae, S. pneumoniae, staphylococci, M. catarrhalis, streptococci
  • Skin infections and inflammations caused by streptococci, and/or staphylococci
  • Bone infections due to P. mirabilis and/or staphylococci
  • Infection in Genitourinary tract caused by P. mirabilis, E. coli, and K. pneumoniae.

Dosage: Cephalexin can be administered orally in the following dosages:

Its adult dosage is from 1 to 4 g daily in divisions of 6 hours. Doctors prescribe Cephalexin in dosage of 500 mg every 12 hours for Streptococcal pharyngitis, uncomplicated cystitis and Skin structure infections, for patients above 15 years of age.

The recommended daily dosage of Cephalexin for pediatric patients is 25 to 50 mg, in divisions of 12 hours.

In case of severe infections, the dosage of Cephalexin is doubled.

Contraindications: Cephalexin is contraindicated in following conditions:

  • aspirin
  • When patient is allergic to the cephalosporin range of antibiotics
  • If patient has suffered a renal failure
  • During lactation process.

Mechanism of Action (MOA): Cephalexin Cephalexin is acid stable and can be given even without meals. It tends to get quickly absorbed after oral intake. It gets excreted via urine through tubular secretion and glomerular filtration. Studies have proven that more than 90% of the unaffected drug gets excreted through urine within 8 hours of intake. According to in-vitro tests, cephalosporins are bactericidal due to their reservation for cell-wall synthesis. This drug has also proven to be dynamically active against in-vitro as well as clinical infections. This drug stalls or slows the proliferation of bacterial cells and prevents the bacteria from forming its cell wall thus disabling it to survive.  

Interactions: Cephalexin shows interaction with following drugs:

  • Fluticasone
  • salmeterol
  • aspirin
  • zolpidem
  • celecoxib
  • duloxetine
  • furosemide
  • hydrocodone
  • cholecalciferol
  • alprazolam
  • omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • levofloxacin
  • atorvastatin
  • escitalopram
  • pregabalin
  • clopidogrel
  • esomeprazole
  • montelukast
  • acetaminophen

Side Effects: The occurrence of Cephalexin side effects is a subjective issue. However, one must be aware of probabilities to avoid further serious medical complications. If following effects are experienced after taking Cephalexin, immediate medical attention might be necessary: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion
  • joint pain
  • tiredness
  • skin rashes associated with fever
  • itching, hives or blistered skin
  • difficult breathing
  • swelling of face
  • tightness in the chest
  • dark or reduced volume of urine
  • hallucinations
  • severe stomach pain
  • seizures
  • muscular cramps
  • severe tiredness
  • unusual vaginal discharge and/or pain
  • yellowing of skin or eyes