cephalexin, Keflex

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: cephalexin

BRAND NAME: Keflex

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Cephalexin belongs to a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins. They are similar to penicillin in action and side effects. They stop or slow the growth of bacterial cells by preventing bacteria from forming the cell wall that surrounds each cell. The cell wall protects bacteria from the external environment and keeps the contents of the cell together, and without a cell wall, bacteria are not able to survive. Bacteria that are susceptible to cephalexin include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, E. coli and several others. Cephalexin was approved by the FDA in January 1971.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Cephalexin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria that are susceptible to the effects of cephalexin. Common infections that are treated with cephalexin include infections of the middle ear (otitis medica), tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis), and pneumonia. It also is used for treating urinary tract, skin, and bone infections.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of cephalexin are:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2015

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