Cephalexin is a prescription antibiotic licensed to treat and prevent bacterial infections. It comes in either capsule or liquid form in a variety of strengths. Infections that can be treated with the drug include bone infections, middle ear infections, and respiratory tract infections. It can also be used to prevent heart valve infections. Possible side effects of cephalexin include diarrhea, headache, and upset stomach.
What Is Cephalexin?Cephalexin (Keflex®, Biocef®) is a prescription antibiotic that is licensed to treat a number of common infections. It is part of a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins.
What Is Cephalexin Used For?Cephalexin is licensed to treat a number of conditions. Some uses include:
- Treatment of a bacterial infection, such as a:
- Respiratory tract infection (pneumonia, bronchitis, strep throat, or tonsillitis)
- Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
- Middle ear infection (otitis media)
- Sinus infection (sinusitis)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Irritation of the prostate (prostatitis)
- Skin infection, such as cellulitis, folliculitis, or impetigo.
- Prevention of heart valve infections (bacterial endocarditis).
(Click What Is Cephalexin Used For? for more information.)
The drug is not effective against any infection caused by a virus, such as the flu, stomach flu, or common cold.
How Does It Work?Cephalexin is part of a class of drugs called cephalosporins. It prevents bacteria from making and maintaining their cell wall. Without a cell wall, bacteria are vulnerable and ultimately perish.