Cephalexin HCl Monohydrate Tablets

(Generic for Keflex)

This is an antibiotic that treats most common surgical infections.  It can be used with most other medications.  It should not be used in people with [penicillin allergies.  It can be used for a few days or up to several months.  It should be used until after all signs of infection are completely gone.  Do not stop this medication prematurely.

The following is the package insert.  It is complete and lengthy but not easily understood

Cephalexin HCl Monohydrate Tablets

An antibiotic (cephalosporin) used to treat infections in adults and children caused by susceptible bacteria.

Precautions: DO NOT USE if you are allergic to cephalosporins.

BEFORE USING THIS MEDICATION, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding; or if you are taking, will be taking or stop taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine; if you are allergic to penicillins; or if you have any other medical conditions (eg, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, gastrointestinal disease).

Side Effects: Every medicine can cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following occurs: Rash; hives; itching; fever; joint pain and swelling; skin inflammation; skin redness; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; stomach pain; headache; dizziness; hallucinations; confusion; fatigue; agitation; secondary fungal infection, particularly of the mouth, rectal, vaginal, and intestinal areas; itching in genital, vaginal, and anal areas; yellowing of skin and eyes.


  • Usual adult dose is between 1 g to 4 g daily in divided doses.
  • May be taken with food or milk.
  • If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Continue use until all of the prescribed medicine has been taken. Failure to take all of the medicine may prevent complete elimination of bacteria, causing the infection to return.
  • If severe diarrhea, stomach pain/cramps, nausea, vomiting or bloody stools occur, contact your doctor immediately.
  • This could be a symptom of a serious side effect (pseudomembranous colitis) requiring immediate medical attention. Do not treat diarrhea without consulting your doctor.
  • May produce allergic reactions. These may range from mild itching and rash to a life-threatening reaction. Report prior allergic reactions to cephalosporins, penicillins, and other drugs to your doctor. If you experience rash, hives, nausea, severe diarrhea, itching, fever, joint and muscle pain, chest tightness, fluid retention, urinary problems, chills, unusual bleeding or bruising, or difficulty breathing, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Serum sickness-like reactions (skin rashes with inflammation, pain in the joints, and fever) have been reported. Symptoms usually occur a few days after beginning therapy and resolve after the drug is discontinued.
  • Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be helpful in managing symptoms.
  • Diabetics - This medicine can interfere with urine tests for glucose and may give false test results.
  • Lab tests may be needed to monitor therapy. Be sure to keep appointments.
  • Store at controlled room temperature (59 to 86 degrees F).

This information is advisory only; it does not contain all information about this medicine. If you have any questions about your medicine, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright 1999 by Facts and Comparisons, used by permission of Southwood Pharmaceuticals

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Last modified: 07/27/08