What Is Keflex (Cephalexin)?

Keflex is a brand-name prescription drug, which is also known as cephalexin in its generic form. Keflex is prescribed to treat bacterial infections and it’s classified as a cephalosporin antibiotic. Keflex can stop the growth of bacteria and it can treat infections of the middle ear, bone and joint. Keflex can also be prescribed to treat bacterial infections in the urinary tract, strep throat and pneumonia. Keflex cannot treat viral infections like the flu. Some of the common side effects of Keflex include diarrhea and stomach ache. Keflex is one the most commonly prescribed medications in the world. This drug is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications, indicating that it’s one of the safest and most effective medicines.

However, there are a few risks associated with Keflex. If Keflex is used too long or too often, it could cause a yeast infection or oral thrush. Keflex shouldn’t be used with narcotic pain medicines because it could cause certain gastrointestinal symptoms to get worse. When someone is prescribed Keflex, they should take it exactly as instructed. No one should take someone else’s prescription for Keflex because it can be harmful.

Keflex is frequently used by patients who are allergic to penicillin. Penicillin is often the first-line of treatment for respiratory tract infections, for example. In a patient who can’t tolerate penicillin, Keflex works well as an alternative. Keflex is a pregnancy category B drug in the U.S., indicating that there is no evidence of harm when it’s used by pregnant women or during breastfeeding.

What Does Keflex Look Like?

Keflex is available in different strengths. A 250 mg dose of Keflex comes in capsule form. It is white and green and it’s imprinted with “DISTA H69 EFLEX.” Keflex 500 mg is a capsule that is dark green and light green. On one side of the capsule, “Dista H71” is imprinted. On the other side, “Keflex 500 mg” is imprinted. Keflex 750 mg is uniformly green and is imprinted with “Keflex 750 mg.” A typical dose for adults and patients who are least 15 years old is 250 mg every six hours. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe a dose of 500 mg every 12 hours. For someone with a more severe infection, a higher dose may be needed.

Is Keflex Addictive?

Keflex is not an addictive medication, nor does it have the potential for abuse or dependence. One question people may have about Keflex is how it interacts with alcohol. Some people believe that alcohol and antibiotics affect one another. For example, one myth is that drinking alcohol while on an antibiotic makes the drug ineffective. Another myth is that antibiotics could heighten the effects of alcohol. Neither is true. Keflex has no psychoactive effects and it’s not likely that it would have any significant interaction with alcohol. That’s not to say alcohol and Keflex should be combined. Alcohol can make the gastrointestinal side effects of Keflex worse. Alcohol can also weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight infection.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.