Antibiotics are medicines specialized in the elimination of pathogenic microorganisms that cause infections or diseases in people, one of these being cephalexin . This drug can be prescribed by a doctor to fight bacteria such as streptococcus pneumoniae, e coli, and proteus mirabilis.

That is why, in the following article, the main indications and contraindications of cephalexin will be mentioned briefly and in detail, as well as the possible side effects that this antibiotic may cause.

What is cephalexin?

Cephalexin is an antibiotic that can be found in capsule, tablet, or liquid (suspension) form. This drug belongs to the cephalosporin class , which act as bactericides.

According to a report by Laboratorios Normon in Spain, the cephalexin capsule contains ” gelatin, indigo carmine (E-132), quinoline yellow (E-104), yellow iron oxide (E-172) and titanium dioxide” .

To highlight: A study published by the Central University of Venezuela on cephalosporins mentions that these are antibiotics similar to penicillins , but with greater efficacy, whose main function is to inhibit bacteria in the body.

On the other hand, the recommended dose of cephalexin orally in adults is 50-100 mg per day, for a period of 6-8 hours. While in children under 13 years of age it is 25-50 mg. In the event that the child has a serious infection, an adult dose can be given, but divided into 4 doses a day.

What is cephalexin indicated for?

Cefalexin is an antibiotic that eliminates bacteria that can cause infections in people, therefore, this medication is indicated for certain pathologies, some of which are the following:

1. Respiratory and urinary infections

One of the main indications for cephalexin is to treat respiratory (pneumonia, pharyngitis, bronchitis) and urinary (cystitis) infections . This is due to its bactericidal property, which allows the elimination of microorganisms that can cause an infection in the respiratory or urogenital tract.

Important: The previous paragraph is confirmed through research carried out by Bago Laboratories in Argentina, where they mention that cephalexin acts as a bactericide, eliminating any infection located in the respiratory or urogenital tract.

2. Dental and osteoarticular infections

Cephalexin is an antibiotic that can be used to eliminate dental and osteoarticular infections, since it is used as a substitute in people who are allergic to penicillin , since, just like it is, it eliminates pathogenic bacteria.

To highlight: A study published by the University of San Martín de Porres in Peru, explains that cephalosporin antibiotics such as cephalexin, are drugs that have a mechanism of action similar to penicillins, which can be used in dentistry.

3. Skin and subcutaneous tissue infections

The use of cephalexin may be indicated for bacterial infections in the skin and subcutaneous tissue such as impetigo, or infections caused by staphylococcus aureus , requiring elimination by a bactericidal antibiotic.

4. Otitis media

Another of the indications for the use of cephalexin is for the treatment of otitis media , since this is caused by a bacterial infection in the ear, and this medication can be effective as it has bactericidal properties.

Contraindications of cephalexin

Although cephalexin is an antibiotic used to eliminate bacterial infections, it must be taken into account that it also has contraindications for its use , since they can aggravate the patient’s state of health, in which the following cases can develop:

1. Sensitivity to components

The use of cephalexin should not be applied to people who are sensitive to its components, since it can cause other symptoms that are harmful to health such as high fever, cough or headaches.

2. Gastrointestinal, kidney or liver disease

Cefalexin has as a contraindication, its use in people with diseases such as colitis, hepatitis, or nephritis, since harmful symptoms such as cough, malaise, vomiting, and mainly diarrhea can develop.

3. Interactions with other drugs

Interactions of other drugs with cephalexin must be absolutely avoided , since this can cause an alteration in the mechanism of action of the drugs or cause a risk of hepatotoxicity in the patient.

Important: Cephalexin should not be combined with cephalosporin, aminoglycosides, and cholestyramine, since the first 2 can cause acute nephrotoxicity, and the last decreases cephalexin absorption.

What side effects does cephalexin produce?

Like most antibiotics, cephalexin can cause side effects, so they must be taken into account if it occurs to determine its use or possible immediate suspension.

1. Gastrointestinal upsets

Gastrointestinal discomfort can be reactions after the use of cephalexin, leading to vomiting, reflux, abdominal pain or nausea. In case of severe pain, it is recommended to seek medical attention quickly.

2. Headache, tiredness and hallucinations

The use of cephalexin can cause people headaches, fatigue and even hallucinations . Although these symptoms are rare to manifest, caution should be taken as they can be intense and unbearable.

3. Skin rashes

A skin rash can develop as a side effect, after using cephalexin as a treatment, where you may notice hives or rashes on various areas of the skin that itch.

4. Genital and anal itching

Another of the side effects that cephalexin can cause is genital and anal itching, so if these symptoms become a state of intense itching, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention for treatment.

5. Pseudomembranous colitis

Finally, the use of cephalexin can cause pseudomembranous colitis as a side effect, which is an infection in the large intestine (colon) , making it advisable to seek immediate medical attention if it develops.

Key Findings

  • Cephalexin is an antibiotic used as a treatment, whose function is to inhibit the bacteria that cause infections in the body.
  • This antibiotic is mainly indicated for infections in the respiratory tract, skin, ears, and teeth.
  • Cephalexin is contraindicated if the patient suffers from sensitivity to its components, in gastrointestinal, renal and hepatic diseases or with the interaction of other drugs.
  • Cephalexin can cause side effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, tiredness, skin rashes, genital and anal itching, or even colitis.

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