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Common Brand Name: Keflex

Drug Information

Medically reviewed by Jessica Swirble, PharmD
Last updated on March 16, 2024

Drug Information | Side Effects | Use & Dosage | Request a Prescription

Quick Facts
  • Brand Name: Keflex (discontinued)
  • Generic Name: Cephalexin
  • Uses: Treatment for bacterial infections
  • Drug Class: Cephalosporin antibiotic
  • Availability: Prescription only
  • Generic Status: Yes
  • Controlled Substance: No

What is cephalexin?

Cephalexin is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections.

What condition does cephalexin treat?

Cephalexin is prescribed to treat bacterial infections in several areas of the body. It is prescribed to treat pneumonia and bacterial respiratory infections. It is also prescribed to treat infections of the bones, ears, skin, and urinary tract infections. It is effective against bacterial infections but not viral, parasitic, or fungal infections.

How does cephalexin work?

Cephalexin is a cephalosporin antibiotic. It kills bacteria that cause infections by inhibiting cell wall synthesis.

How do I take cephalexin?

Cephalexin is supplied as an oral tablet, capsule, or liquid solution. It should be taken by mouth with or without food.

How long until I feel better?

The time it takes to note the effects of cephalexin will vary depending on the patient and the severity of the condition being treated. Most patients start feeling better within a few days after starting use. In the case of a severe infection, it may take longer before you feel better.

If you have been taking cephalexin for several days and aren't feeling better, talk to your healthcare provider. Do not increase your dosage. If you are feeling better, do not stop using cephalexin until your provider directs you to do so.

Take cephalexin for as long as your provider tells you to.

Are there other uses for cephalexin?

Cephalexin may be prescribed off-label for:

  • Infectious arthritis
  • Infectious bursitis
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Endocarditis prevention
  • UTI prevention

Talk to your healthcare provider about other uses for this medication, if appropriate.

Dosage forms of cephalexin

Cephalexin is available as an oral capsule, tablet, or liquid. It should be taken by mouth.

It is available in its generic form.

Cephalexin is only available via prescription. You must have a written prescription from a licensed healthcare provider to obtain this medication.