Keflex: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients

Keflex, also known as cephalexin, is a widely prescribed antibiotic belonging to the cephalosporin family. It’s crucial for patients to understand how this medication works, when and how to take it, and the potential side effects and precautions associated with it.

What is Keflex?

  • Uses: Keflex is primarily prescribed to treat various bacterial infections, setting it apart from treatments for viral infections like the flu or common cold.
  • Mechanism: Keflex operates by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, ensuring they don’t multiply and spread.
  • Note: Misuse or unnecessary use of Keflex can lead to decreased effectiveness, emphasizing the importance of taking antibiotics only when prescribed.

How to Administer Keflex

  • Keflex Dosage: The medication’s dosage varies based on medical condition, response to treatment, and in children, it’s also determined by weight. Ensure you follow your doctor’s prescribed keflex dosage.
  • Method of Consumption: Typically, it’s taken orally every 6 to 12 hours, with or without food. If using the suspension form, shake well before each use and measure doses precisely. For consistent results, consume at evenly spaced intervals, preferably at the same time each day. Complete the full prescribed amount, even if symptoms subside early. Alert your physician if your condition persists or deteriorates.

Side Effects of Keflex

  • Common keflex side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upsets.
  • In prolonged use, it might result in oral thrush or yeast infections.
  • It’s vital to communicate with your healthcare provider if symptoms persist or worsen.
  • Although rare, severe intestinal conditions or allergic reactions can occur. If you notice severe symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
  • This isn’t an exhaustive list of keflex side effects. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for concerns.

Precautions When Taking Keflex

  • Allergies: Ensure your doctor is informed if you have allergies to cephalexin, penicillins, or other cephalosporins.
  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider about your medical past, especially concerning kidney diseases and stomach/intestinal diseases. Diabetic patients should be cautious, especially if consuming the liquid form which may contain sugar.
  • Vaccinations: Keflex may affect live bacterial vaccines like the typhoid vaccine. Always consult before getting immunized.
  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: The drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed. It’s known to pass into breast milk, so nursing mothers should consult doctors before use.

Interactions with Other Drugs

  • Keflex may interact with other medications, impacting their effectiveness or increasing side effect risks. One such drug is dofetilide.
  • Keflex might interfere with certain lab tests, leading to false results.
  • Always maintain an updated list of all your medications and share them with your doctor to avoid potential interactions.

Overdose and Missed Dose

  • In case of an overdose, especially if serious symptoms like seizures or consistent vomiting appear, seek emergency help.
  • For missed doses, consume as soon as remembered unless it’s nearing the next scheduled dose.

Storage Guidelines

  • Store tablets and capsules in a cool, dry place, away from light.
  • The suspension should be refrigerated and used within 14 days.
  • Discard expired medications responsibly, ideally not by flushing.


Keflex, with its generic name cephalexin, is a reliable antibiotic when taken with proper precautions. Ensure you combine keflex and alcohol only after consulting with your doctor. Always prioritize your doctor’s advice over any other source. Remember, health is wealth, and informed decisions can lead to a healthier life!