Keflex (Cephalexin) Dosing and How to Use
While your doctor will likely know which dose would better serve you, it’s helpful to know what typical dosing is used, how it is supplied, and how it should be taken. Knowledge is power, and it is also incredibly important when it comes to your overall well being and health.
Keflex is the brand name for the generic antibiotic, cephalexin. These names are often used interchangeably between doctors’ offices and pharmacy techs. Cephalexin is a type of antibiotic that is specifically aimed at bacterial infections like Streptococcus, Pneumococcal, and Proteus species. It is part of the group of cephalosporins, so it’s often used in patients who have a sensitivity or a high tolerance to penicillins. There is very little cross-reaction between cephalosporins and penicillins, but if you have an allergy to either group, be sure to let your physician know.
Keflex Dosage Forms
Keflex can be provided in both pill and liquid form. Capsules and tablets are more commonly used for teens and adults, while the liquid suspension is more commonly used in children, the elderly and those with swallowing difficulties. Those with diabetes or other insulin disorders should not use the liquid suspension, as it’s made with sugar. The dosages for cephalexin are as follows:
- Cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL liquid, in 100 and 200 mL bottles
- Cephalexin 250 mg capsules and tablets
- Cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL liquid, in 100 and 200 mL bottles
- Cephalexin 500 mg capsules and tablets
What is the difference between the capsules and the tablets? Capsules usually have a gel or powder-like substance encased in a vegetarian-based covering. The release of the medication in capsules is generally a little faster because the tablets are coated with a substance that takes longer to break down. The difference is not usually significant, however. Tablets can also be cut in half, so if you are on a tapered dose of cephalexin 500 mg, then instead of prescribing you additional medication with cephalexin 250 mg, you can usually just cut the tablet in half. This is at the discretion of your physician.
How to Take Cephalexin
Always follow the prescription instructions and ask your physician or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.
Cephalexin is taken in multiple doses throughout the day (up to four), every 6 or 12 hours for 7 to 10 days depending on the severity of infection. You should take the medication for all prescribed days so as to ensure complete eradication of the infection.
Cephalexin should be taken with a large glass of water with food to avoid stomach upset; however, it’s okay to take on an empty stomach if that is not a side effect for you. Liquid suspension should be shaken well before taking. If you miss a dose, take it when you remember; however, if you are within two to three hours of the next dose, skip. If you miss several doses, let your physician know.