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Back to Infections Drug Index

Back to 1st Generation Cephalosporins

Name: Cephalexin

Pregnancy Category B

Drug classes

Cephalosporin (first generation)

Mechanism of action of Cephalexin
Bactericidal:  inhibits synthesis of bacterial cell wall, causing cell death.

Indications of Cephalexin

  • Respiratory tract infections caused by S. pneumoniae, group A ?hemolytic streptococci
  • Dermatologic infections caused by staphylococci, streptococci
  • Otitis media caused by S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, streptococci, staphylococci, M. catarrhalis
  • Bone infections caused by staphylococci, P. mirabilis
  • GU infections caused by E. coli, P. mirabilis, Klebsiella

Contraindications of Cephalexin

  • Allergy to cephalosporins or penicillins
  • Renal failure
  • Lactation
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Adverse effectsof Cephalexin

  • CNS: Headache, dizziness, lethargy, paresthesias
  • GI: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain, flatulence, pseudomembranous colitis, liver toxicity
  • Hematologic: Bone marrow depression
  • GU: Nephrotoxicity
  • Hypersensitivity: Ranging from rash, fever to anaphylaxis; serum sickness reaction
  • Other: Superinfections

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