Medical Conditions and Cephalexin
What Is Cephalexin?
The medication cephalexin belongs to the family of drugs known as cephalosporin. It is essentially an antibiotic and it is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. Most of the time, the doctor will recommend this medication for treating an infection of the throat, bladder, ear, skin, bone, or respiratory tract. This medication is known to help kill the bacteria that causes the infection. The strength of this medicine is 500mg in the form of a tablet. The normal recommended dose differs from person to person, and the doctor would be the best to advise on the dosage. However, the dosing could range from 250mg to 1000mg, to be taken four times on a daily basis. This medicine can be taken with meals or on an empty stomach as advised by the doctor. There are various factors that affect the dosing of the medicine, including the body weight of the individual, the medical condition being face currently, its severity, and any other medications being used.
The dosage of the medicine is also known to be dependent on the condition being treated, the functioning of the kidneys, the age of the individual, and any other existing condition. Cephalexin is known to be active against a varied number of bacteria, hence, it is considered a broad spectrum antibiotic. Cephalexin is used for the treatment of dental infections, urinary tract infections, chest and throat infections, ear infections, and skin infections. Infections that are also related to bacteria such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, E. coli, Proteus mirabilis, and Shigella are also said to be treatable with the help of this antibiotic. When the doctor carries out high surgical procedures against bacterial endocarditis, even then they can use this as a prophylactic, or it can also be used for dental patients allergic to penicillin. The doctor can also use it when there is an indication of pretreatment with an antibiotic. In one study, it was found that for dental prophylaxis, cephalexin was not as effective as it should be. But, in the case of a sinus infection, it was found to be very effective. Infections that are also associated with diverticulitis have been found to be effective when treated with this medication. Cephalexin is known to be useful in preventing UTIs after a prostatectomy. Cephalexin is not found to be effective in the prevention of respiratory tract infections for patients who suffer from cystic fibrosis.
Antibiotics are categorized into three major classes based on their mechanism of action. Those major classes are protein synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis, and cell walls. Some antibiotics are said to prevent bacteria from producing their important components. Cephalexin is known to attack the bacterial cell wall, therefore, it is considered to be a cell wall agent.
Below are the medical conditions which are treated with the help of the antibiotic cephalexin:
- Bone infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
- Bone infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria
- Strep throat and tonsillitis
- Skin infection caused due to Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria
- Skin infection caused due to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria
- Infection caused by strep throat
- Urinary tract infection caused due to proteus bacteria
- Urinary tract infection caused due to Klebsiella bacteria or E. coli bacteria
- Infections of the joint and bone
- Prevention of urinary tract infections
- Middle ear infection caused due to Moraxella Catarrhalis and Staphylococcus
- Middle ear infection caused due to H. influenzae bacteria
- Bacterial pneumonia caused by Streptococcus
- Infection of the prostate gland caused due to Proteus and E. coli
- Infection of the prostate gland caused due to Klebsiella
- Treatment for the prevention of bacterial infections of the heart valve
- Diabetic foot infection due to specific bacteria
Certain medial conditions have a tendency to alter the effectiveness of this medication, for example, colitis, which is an inflammation of the gut, kidney or liver issues, seizure attacks, or severe diarrhea. Let us have a look at them in detail mentioned below:
- Organism overgrowth: Due to the prolonged use of cephalexin, there can be a tendency for bacteria or fungi to overgrow, because these microorganisms are not easily killed by these medications; instead, they thrive really well. In addition, there are chances that it can also give rise to other forms of infections, which may include yeast infections.
- Disruption of kidney function: Generally, individuals with kidney problems are given lower doses of cephalexin. The dosing of this medication would depend upon the medical condition, and the individual’s condition would need to be monitored on a regular basis.
- Colitis: Cephalexin, similar to other antibiotics, is known to cause mild to severe forms of pseudomembranous colitis, which is a form of inflammation of the colon. Certain antibiotics, which can also include cephalexin, are known to alter the type of bacteria in the colon region, thereby permitting the overgrowth of the bacteria that is known as clostridium difficile. Certain research also indicates that toxins which are produced by this clostridium difficile are known to be the primary cause of pseudomembranous colitis.
- Renal dysfunction: Since antibiotics, which also include cephalexin, are known to be eliminated through the kidneys, those individuals who suffer from kidney issues or who have renal dysfunction should be careful, or else it can lead to a worsening of the condition. The doctor would need to adjust the dosage accordingly. The normal dose in such cases should be taken every 12 hours.
- Resistance of bacteria: There can be instances where, if the individual has misused the antibiotics, it may lead to the growth of resistant bacteria and, hence, they do not get killed. In such cases, it becomes important to take the complete course of the medication so that the body is able to get rid of the infection completely. Remember, in the case of viral infections, they should not be treated with cephalexin, and if it is used, it can lead to the growth of resistant bacteria.
- Allergic reaction: Individuals who are allergic to penicillin may be able to experience the same for this antibiotic or for the other cephalosporin medications. Hence, in such cases, it would be ideal to discuss with the doctor any previous cases of adverse effects or reactions, and if the individual has experienced any allergic reaction, it is important to inform the doctor immediately.
- Functioning of the liver: On certain occasions, the liver function could decrease due to the intake of cephalexin. The dosage as well as the effectiveness of this medication tends to be affected by the patient’s medical condition, and in such cases, the doctor would need to keep a special monitoring. You need to inform the doctor right away if you face any issues with the liver or experience any such symptoms.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, you should let the doctor know if you are already pregnant or planning to conceive, since the effects on the unborn are not clear. The doctor will judge various factors and then decide on the best treatment plan to be taken for the medical condition in such cases.
- Breastfeeding: This medication has a tendency to have an effect on babies in case you are a breastfeeding mother. Hence, it is best to discuss with the doctor about breastfeeding before starting a course of treatment to avoid any issues for the nursing child.