Infections that are regarded as minor in nature, and affecting the skin, the genital area and the ear continue to be treated by cephalosporins. Over the ages, various generations this category of antibiotics have been developed; however, the first generation of the antibiotics continues to be used for treating various infections including minor infections.  Cephalexin, the medical name for cephalosporins, remains the bactericidal of choice for treating various conditions as listed in subsequent sections below. Let’s learn more about the possible side effects of Keflex belonging to this category of antibiotics; and reduce undesirable outcomes through the right preventive actions.

Cephalosporins and effectiveness in treating various conditions

Cephalosporin is a prescription only medication, and is available as capsules, tablets, and oral powder suspension. This class of antibiotics is typically recommended for treating specific conditions in children above the age of one year and adults. Keflex, the brand name of this category of medications, is commonly prescribed for treating infections on superficial wounds, that may trigger bacterial infections. Other conditions that can be effectively treated include:

  • Skin infections
  • Ear infections
  • Genital area infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Infections in the bone
  • Used as part of combination treatment for Pneumonia
  • Respiratory tract infections

Mechanism of action of Keflex

Keflex works through inhibition of cell wall synthesis, and this delivers the bactericidal effect, that halts the spread of the infection. It is important to note that the bactericidal action is effective only against gram positive bacteria and will not be effective in treating infections attributed to gram negative bacteria. It is also necessary to be aware that bactericidal antibiotics are not to be used for managing viral infections, as the medications will only work to treat or halt bacterial infections. Conditions such as common cold or flu are viral infections and individuals will not experience any relief from this class of medications despite the apparent similarity of the infections.

Impact of dosage on possible side effects of Keflex  

One of the most common reasons for undesirable outcomes in medications is incorrect dosage. Users are likely to attempt heavier dosages in an effort to speed up the healing process, which is a wrong assumption. Patients and caregivers are advised to diligently stick to prescribed dosages, to avoid possible side effects.

Recommended dosages outlined below are intended to help patients with reference information and this is not be regarded as the ideal or actual dosage. Despite the fact that conditions may appear to be similar, actual dosage may differ, and will depend on various conditions – such as the condition being treated, the strength of the medication, the frequency of intake, the duration of the treatment, the use of other medications and other comorbidities or health conditions in the patients.

An average dose anywhere between 1000 to 4000 milligrams is typically recommended for adults and children above the age of 15.

The recommended dosage for children aged above 1 is calculated on the basis of body weight. For every kilogram of body weight, the recommended dosage is between 25 milligrams to 100 milligrams.

It is necessary to note that all the above dosages are the total daily dosage and users are to take medications in multiple dosages that add up to the above upper limit of daily dosage.

Drug interactions of Keflex  

There is the likelihood of drug interactions of Keflex, with other medications or formulations. This is especially applicable to instances where patients with two or more conditions or diseases may be required to take multiple medications to deal with various conditions. There is the possibility of interactions either due to the mechanism of action of two medications or the properties of ingredients in the medications. Simple methods to deal with possible drug interactions include staggering of dosages, or altering the dosage strength of either or both medications.

List of medications that interact with Keflex

The following medications are likely to interact with Keflex in some manner:

  • Cholera vaccines – individuals and family members are to be aware of this aspect when opting for vaccination, as there is every likelihood of this fact being ignored. While most individuals may try to ascertain indications between medications, it is not the same when choosing to get vaccinated.
  • Blood thinners or other anticoagulants such as warfarin may also end up causing interactions.
  • Probenecid has a mechanism of action that is similar to Keflex and this may cause drug interactions.
  • Cholestyramine when taken along with Keflex may cause drug interactions, including the possibility of increased side effects.

Effects that are relatively harmless and can be ignored 

Most individuals are likely to be apprehensive of all side effects of medications. It helps to be aware that all medications will trigger some kind of effects, some of which may not be serious or of concern. These effects may resolve naturally, without the need for any medication, for instance;

  • Stomach upset
  • Abnormal belching
  • Burning sensations in the chest/stomach
  • Anxiety
  • Altered heartbeat rate
  • Indigestion
  • Dry mouth
  • Abnormal itching in genital area

Simple methods to prevent side effects of Keflex  

The side effects of this class of medications can be avoided or prevented to a certain extent, with simple measures.  For instance, abstaining fully from intoxicants such as tobacco and alcohol will help prevent certain effects that are common to all antibiotics. While the actual effects or the severity of the effects may differ with the type of medication being consumed; it is a proven fact that alcohol consumption when on antibiotics is ill-advised, exposing individuals to the possibility of some kind of side effects.

Certain conditions may worsen with Keflex use, and patients are advised to temporarily discontinue use of Keflex in such circumstances. For instance, diarrhea is likely to aggravate when cephalosporin medications are consumed. Other undesirable effects attributed to use of the medication include colitis, and individuals can help mitigate the conditions by staying off Keflex during the course of treatment for colitis. The condition, is caused by inflammation of the colon, as a result of infections or could be attributed to an auto immune response.

Effects that are regarded as adverse or serious in nature 

Certain effects are known to be adverse or serious in nature, and it is essential for patients and caregivers to identify these conditions and take suitable precautions. For instance, seizures are likely to aggravate in patients on the medication. Other conditions that could aggravate or trigger adverse reactions include kidney ailments. Patients with kidney problems are likely to experience a condition wherein the kidneys are unable to process the medication, and this could result in the medication remaining int eh body for a longer period than required. This may cause unwanted effects, that could be serious or adverse in nature, depending on the medications. The same possibility extends to patients with liver conditions, who may experience complications as a result of delayed processing and removal of the medication.

Diabetes and link to Keflex  

Keflex, as mentioned above is available in various formulations, include the liquid form, which contains sugar. Consequently, patients with diabetes, and on the medication are likely to end up with elevated levels of blood glucose despite the medications. It may be necessary to either alter dosages or to stagger intake of medications to work around the effects.

Effects that may be commonly experienced

Certain effects are likely to occur more frequently than others, and it is necessary for patients to monitor such effects and take suitable preventive actions. For instance, the following effects are to be carefully monitored, as they could be indicative of possible adverse outcomes:

  • Pain in the stomach/abdomen
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Formation of blisters
  • Discoloration of urine
  • Clay like appearance of stools/discoloration

In addition to the above effects, there is every likelihood of patients experiencing dizzy feelings and headache. Overall fatigue that is not attributed to any health condition or activity is also a possibility. Other effects include possible pain in the muscles and joints. A small section of users is also likely to experience effects such as low-grade fever, that may require suitable treatment. Patients may also experience changes in appetite apart from possible vomiting sensations and nausea.

Impact on allergies

Keflex is also known to trigger unpleasant consequences on patients with a history of allergies. This includes penicillin class of medications. Individuals with past history of allergic reactions to any cephalosporin medication are also likely to experience undesirable effects, and are advised to pick a different medication. In certain instances, the first reaction to an allergy may not be as severe as subsequent reactions and it is therefore necessary to take adequate precautions after being initially sensitized to a medication or product.

It is possible to carefully monitor and track possible allergic reactions. For instance, the following conditions are to be observed carefully, and suitable medical treatment is to be availed to prevent conditions from turning severe:

  • Peeling skin
  • Loose skin
  • Formation of red lesions on skin
  • Facial swelling
  • Swelling of lips
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Swelling of throat
  • Swelling in genitalia
  • Swelling similar to hives
  • Swelling in the hands/feet
  • Rashes – with purple hue
  • Itching

Caution to be exercised by pregnant/lactating women

A word of caution for pregnant or lactating women who intend to take the medication. Adequate studies have not been conducted on pregnant women or lactating women to determine the possible effects. In the absence of sufficient information about possible long term or short effects of the medication on pregnant or lactating women, it is safe to avoid the medication or seek specialist advice regarding its use. This is especially important as it involves the health and safety of the fetus and the new born.



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