Cephalexin capsules are used to treat minor bacterial infections by killing the bacteria cells and stopping their spread. It is prescribed for skin infections, including acne, respiratory tract infections, and staph infections of the skin and bone. Cephalexin capsules contain ingredients similar to penicillin, and may be used when the patient is allergic to penicillin.
This antibiotic is commonly used when other bacterial infection drugs are not effective. Some medicines stop bacteria from spreading but do not kill them. Cephalexin capsules do both, but do not work on viral disorders. They might be prescribed for strep throat when penicillin, the drug commonly used, cannot be tolerated by the patient. The medication is excreted in the urine about eight hours after it is taken.
A common side effect of cephalexin capsules is diarrhea. The drug may kill normal bacteria present in the gut and colon that aid digestion and elimination. About one-third of patients also report vomiting and nausea while using these capsules, while others experience fever or dizziness. There may be other drug reactions that are not known because they have not been studied.
If a rash develops that resembles hives, it might mean the patient is allergic to the drug. The rash commonly itches and appears all over the body. Before using cephalexin capsules to treat an infection, doctors routinely test people who are allergic to penicillin because they are more likely to also be allergic to this drug. This medication is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers because the drug might pass through to the unborn child and breast milk.
Patients who ingest blood-thinning drugs should tell their doctor because they may interact negatively with cephalexin. A bad reaction might also occur with drugs used to treat gout. Blood tests used to monitor diabetes may produce inaccurate results in people who use cephalexin capsules to kill bacterial infection.
Veterinarians recommend this drug for dogs that suffer urinary tract infections, respiratory problems, and skin and bone infections. Dogs can also be allergic to cephalexin capsules and should be monitored for a reaction to the medicine. Animals commonly lose their appetite while taking this medication and may suffer bouts of vomiting.