Bulas and Medicines 2022

Cefalexin: what is it for (and how to take it)

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Cefalexin: what is it for (and how to take it)
Cefalexin: what is it for (and how to take it)

Cefalexin is an antibiotic of the cephalosporin class, which can be used for respiratory, genitourinary, skin, soft tissue, bone or joint infections, and should always be used with medical indication, as incorrect use can cause bacterial resistance to the antibiotic's effect.

This medicine has a bactericidal action, which acts by destroying the bacteria that cause the infection, and can be found in pharmacies and drugstores with the trade name Keflex, Cefacimed, Ceflexin or Cefaxon, or in the generic form as cephalexin monohydrate, being sold only with medical prescription and withholding of prescription by the pharmacy.

What is it for

Cefalexin is indicated for the treatment of respiratory tract infections such as pharyngitis, otitis media, sinusitis, bronchitis or pneumonia, or genitourinary infections such as urethritis, cystitis, pyelitis, adnexitis or prostatitis.

This remedy can also be indicated for the treatment of infections of the skin, soft tissues, bones or joints such as boils, abscesses, surgical scars or infected wounds, in addition to prophylaxis of infections before dental treatments.

How to take it

The recommended dose depends on the infection being treated and the age of the person:

1. Cafalexin tablets 500 mg or 1 g

To treat strep throat, skin infections and uncomplicated cystitis in patients over 15 years of age, a dose of 500 mg or 1 g can be administered every 12 hours for approximately 7 to 14 days.

For respiratory tract infections caused by S. pneumoniae and S. pyogenes, it is necessary to use a dose of 500 mg every 6 hours.

More serious infections or infections caused by less susceptible microorganisms require higher doses. If daily doses of cephalexin above 4 g are required, the physician should consider using an injectable cephalosporin, in adequate doses.

2. Cephalexin oral suspension 250 mg/5 mL and 500 mg/5 mL

The recommended daily dose for children is 25 to 50 mg per kg of body weight in divided doses.

For pharyngitis in children over one year of age, kidney infections and skin infections, the total daily dose may be divided and given every 12 hours.

Antibiotics should only be taken under medical advice, because when used incorrectly they can end up harming the body. Learn more about what antibiotics are and how to take them.

Possible side effects

The most common side effects that can occur with the use of cephalexin are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hives, and in some cases anal or genital itching.

Who should not use

This medication should not be used by people who are allergic to cephalosporins or any component present in the formula.

Furthermore, cephalosporin treatment is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women unless directed to do so by a doctor.

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