Cephalexin, also known and sold under the trade names of Bio-Cef, Keflex, and Panixine DisperDose, is a product which belongs to the group of drugs known as cephalosporin antibiotics.
It is used in the treatment of various bacterial infections. It is considered to work by stopping the growth process of the bacteria.
It is available in the form of a tablet, a capsule, a tablet for suspension, or a powder for suspension.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as about the potential risks and side effects.
For the decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the doctor about any allergies reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that there are no age-connected risks for this medication to be used in pediatric patients, as well as, that this medication is safe to be used in pediatric patients.
Geriatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that there are no age-connected risks for this medication to be used in geriatric patients. However, due to the increased sensitivity and kidney problems within geriatric patients, this medication must be used with extra caution.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. Because of this, this medication should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. Proper studies done have confirmed that this medication is extracted in the milk, and it is confirmed that there is a risk to the infant.
Because of this, this medication is not recommended to be used in nursing mothers. It should be used only in life-threatening situations, and only if the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur.
However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain type of a combination, including two or more medications, to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications should not be used in a combination with the specific type of food, dye, fabric and etc. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present – colitis, diarrhea, seizures, or kidney/liver disease.
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is taken orally. If you are using the suspension form of this medication, make sure to measure the right dose using a measuring instrument, usually provided along with the medication.
If you are using this medication in the form of a tablet, take the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew the tablet. The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your weight, condition and the prognosis of the treatment.
The usual dose is one tablet, every 12 hours, taken with or without food, as prescribed by the doctor. Take this medication regularly, in order to get the most beneficial effects from its use.
If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if the time for the next dose is near, wait and take the next dose.
Do not double to catch up. If an overdose is suspected, inform the doctor right away for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments if needed.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment with this medication if there are any serious side effects present, that may worsen your condition, or if your condition does not improve.
Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication may cause certain interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future.
The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or advise you to start using a proven form of birth control during the treatment, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.
Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. This medication is extracted in the milk, and it has a harmful effect on the infant.
Because of this, it is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers, and it should be used only in life-threating cases if the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its expected beneficial effects, there are potential side effects which need to be taken into consideration.
These side effects do not occur in all patients, as well as they could be mild or more serious.
However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible for further directions.
Common side effects – Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach. These are common side effects which are not considered as serious. But, if their presence worsens or if they persist, inform the doctor as soon as possible.
Serious side effects – persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, and blood/mucous in the stool. These are serious side effects and symptoms of a severe intestinal condition. The doctor must be notified about their presence right away.
A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
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